[Taxacom] Taxacom Digest, Vol 147, Issue 15

Lívia lrpinheiro at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 13:38:24 CDT 2018

Butterflies and moths have in general very distinct reproductive behaviors.
Butterflies usually rely on visual cues for finding mates. Males either
control a territory where they sit and wait for females to show up, or
patrol a larger area actively searching for them. In either case, when they
see one, they go after her. There might be some short-range pheromones
involved in courtship. Moths rely on long distance female pheromones, which
are followed by males. The castniids are the exception, as has been
discussed in this paper:
Zygaenidae, a family of both diurnal and nocturnal moths, sometimes have
both systems.

All moths I've seen were copulating on leaves or sticks. I think this
probably has to do with the overwhelming importance of chemical
communication: if visual cues are not that important, or important at all,
and the short-range male pheromones, appear to have a major role in the
female choice (as it has been demonstrated to several moth species), it
simply doesn't make much sense to copulate while flying.

On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 2:00 PM, <taxacom-request at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>    1. mating pairs of moths in flight (John Grehan)
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> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2018 11:47:18 -0400
> From: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
> To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Subject: [Taxacom] mating pairs of moths in flight
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> Dear colleagues,
> This is just a general question directed at any Lep people on the list. I
> get the impression that mating pairs flying in tandem is a rare occurrence
> in moths (but common in butterflies). I know of just one instance (in a day
> flying moth in Castaniidae) , but if anyone on this list knows of any
> published reference to this behavior in moths I would be grateful to know.
> Many thanks,
> John Grehan
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> End of Taxacom Digest, Vol 147, Issue 15
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Lívia Rodrigues Pinheiro

Universidade Federal de São Carlos - UFSCar
CCHB/Departamento de Biologia, campus Sorocaba
Rodovia João Leme dos Santos (SP-264), Km 110, Bairro do Itinga - Sorocaba
- São Paulo - Brasil - CEP 18052-780
Telefone: (15) 3229-5972

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