Contributions to Zoology, 86 (3) – 2017Xin Tong; Lu Jiang; Bao-Zhen Hua: A unique mating pattern of Panorpodes kuandianensis (Mecoptera: Panorpodidae)

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Abstract

Sexually reproductive insects exhibit diverse mating behaviors. However, the mating pattern remains unknown for Panorpodes of Panorpodidae to date. In this study, we investigated the mating behavior and copulatory mechanism of the short-faced scorpionfly Panorpodes kuandianensis Zhong, Zhang and Hua, 2011 for the first time. The results show that the male provides a salivary mass as a nuptial gift to the female and starts to copulate with the female in a V-shaped position, then changes to an end-to-end position by temporarily twisting the female abdominal segments VII−IX by 180°. During mating the basal processes and the basal teeth of the gonostyli and the hypandrium are used to obtain copulation and sustain the coupling of genitalia to secure successful sperm transfer. This unique mating pattern is greatly different from that of other Mecoptera reported and is likely evolved as an adaptation in the context of sexual conflict.