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Keywords:

  • cryptic;
  • mating behavior;
  • risk avoidance;
  • sexual approach behavior;
  • sexual cannibalism;
  • visual cues;
  • windy conditions

Abstract

When sexual cannibalism presents a sexual conflict, one expects to find male traits that reduce the risk of cannibalism. In sexually cannibalistic species, selection is thought to have favored the evolution of male approach behaviors that reduce the probability that the female will kill the male. We tested the hypothesis that male mantids change their approach behavior in response to wind to reduce the risk of being noticed by females. Time between detection of the female by the male and mating was shorter under windy than windless conditions. Sexual approach behavior was observed more frequently under windy than windless conditions. Moreover, this behavior was observed more frequently when the female was walking than when the female was not walking under windy conditions. The detection rate of male mantids by females was significantly lower on swaying leaves than on fixed leaves. Our results thus indicate that male mantids were more active in response to wind. Therefore, we suggest that the male's quick approach strategy toward females when the wind is blowing at short range is adaptive in reducing the risk of detection by females.