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Homosexual interactions in bed bugs: alarm pheromones as male recognition signals

Ryne, Camilla LU (2009) In Animal Behaviour 78(6). p.1471-1475
Abstract
Homosexual mounting is a common behaviour in bed bugs as male sexual interest is directed towards any newly fed individual. The only mode of copulation in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is by traumatic insemination, where the male pierces the female abdomen with his needle-like penis. Homosexual mating would result in abdominal injuries in mounted males, as males lack the female counteradaptive spermalege structure. I here show that bed bug alarm pheromones, previously hypothesized to be a predator chemical defence, can be used by newly fed males to signal their sex and reduce the risk of homosexual mating. Mechanical blocking of the male pheromone glands significantly increased homosexual mounting duration compared to control... (More)
Homosexual mounting is a common behaviour in bed bugs as male sexual interest is directed towards any newly fed individual. The only mode of copulation in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is by traumatic insemination, where the male pierces the female abdomen with his needle-like penis. Homosexual mating would result in abdominal injuries in mounted males, as males lack the female counteradaptive spermalege structure. I here show that bed bug alarm pheromones, previously hypothesized to be a predator chemical defence, can be used by newly fed males to signal their sex and reduce the risk of homosexual mating. Mechanical blocking of the male pheromone glands significantly increased homosexual mounting duration compared to control males, while applying male extracts containing mainly alarm pheromone onto male-female mating pairs completely interrupted or shortened mating duration and reduced sperm transfer. Males confined with other males received piercing scars, demonstrating that homosexual mating occurs. The focal males in the all-male confinement experiment had reduced longevity compared to singly held males, but why this reduction in longevity occurred is not clear. Mounted males thus benefit from being able to discharge alarm pheromones, while mounting males consider the alarm signal a major sex identification cue, suggesting that male bed bugs use alarm pheromone communication to avoid homosexual harassment and mounting. (C) 2009 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cimicidae, bed bug, Cimex lectularius, alarm pheromone, sex recognition
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
78
issue
6
pages
1471 - 1475
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000272204500026
  • scopus:70649105461
ISSN
1095-8282
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.09.033
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6afacb7f-7a75-4983-893f-13fa05047bb5 (old id 1517792)
date added to LUP
2010-01-08 14:10:18
date last changed
2017-06-04 03:36:35
@article{6afacb7f-7a75-4983-893f-13fa05047bb5,
  abstract     = {Homosexual mounting is a common behaviour in bed bugs as male sexual interest is directed towards any newly fed individual. The only mode of copulation in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is by traumatic insemination, where the male pierces the female abdomen with his needle-like penis. Homosexual mating would result in abdominal injuries in mounted males, as males lack the female counteradaptive spermalege structure. I here show that bed bug alarm pheromones, previously hypothesized to be a predator chemical defence, can be used by newly fed males to signal their sex and reduce the risk of homosexual mating. Mechanical blocking of the male pheromone glands significantly increased homosexual mounting duration compared to control males, while applying male extracts containing mainly alarm pheromone onto male-female mating pairs completely interrupted or shortened mating duration and reduced sperm transfer. Males confined with other males received piercing scars, demonstrating that homosexual mating occurs. The focal males in the all-male confinement experiment had reduced longevity compared to singly held males, but why this reduction in longevity occurred is not clear. Mounted males thus benefit from being able to discharge alarm pheromones, while mounting males consider the alarm signal a major sex identification cue, suggesting that male bed bugs use alarm pheromone communication to avoid homosexual harassment and mounting. (C) 2009 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Ryne, Camilla},
  issn         = {1095-8282},
  keyword      = {Cimicidae,bed bug,Cimex lectularius,alarm pheromone,sex recognition},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1471--1475},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Homosexual interactions in bed bugs: alarm pheromones as male recognition signals},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.09.033},
  volume       = {78},
  year         = {2009},
}