Ecological Studies of the Mating Habits of Certain Species of Corixidae and their Significance


  • E. J. Popham B.Sc., Ph.D., A.E.C.S., F.Z.S.


  • (1. )Collections of Corixa distincta were made in Royshaw Quarry, Blackburn, from 1941–1945, and the insects were analysed with regard to their colour, length, markings on pronotum and right clavus, size of hind tarsi, folding of wings and colour of eyes.
  • (2. )Although mating occurred between all types of insects, yet the males showed a tendency to choose, as a mate, a female of their own size and colour.
  • (3. )No selective mating was observed with regard to the smaller characters.
  • (4. )There is a balance between selective mating and hybridization, which permits a high degree of adaptation to be associated with a wide range of variation.
  • (5. )Selective mating results in the division of a species into a series of semi-isolated groups differing from one another by non-adaptive characters. Selective mating also encourages new genes to adapt themselves to the gene complex.
  • (6. )Barriers to hybridizations are not complete and absolute, but only relative. Although barriers can be surmounted, yet mating occurs most frequently between similar individuals,