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Do Psyttalia concolor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) males gain in mating competitiveness from being courted by other males while still young?


Angelo Canale, Department of Tree Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Pisa, via S. Michele degli Scalzi 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Email:


The role of male–male courtship in parasitic wasps is not well understood and nothing has been reported on the implication of learning in regard to homosexual behavior in hymenopteran parasitoids. In Psyttalia concolor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a synovigenic koinobiont larval–pupal endoparasitoid of many Diptera Tephritidae of economic importance, courtship and mating attempts are frequently displayed among males. Here we determine whether P. concolor males that are courted while still young by sexually mature males can compete better with other males when they court females. The results showed that P. concolor immature males do not appear to gain from receiving male courtship, but they develop a higher intensity (more wing fanning and shorter latency time) in the successive courtship of the females. The hypothesis that, under some conditions, such higher courtship intensities may increase the probability of gaining a mating advantage is discussed.