Reproductive and Social Behavior

Insects, like other organisms, invest much of their assimilated energy and nutrient resources in the production of offspring. Reproductive behavior includes

Example of lekking and appeasement behavior in the courtship of an empidid fly, Rhamphomyia nigripes. Males capture a small insect, such as a mosquito and midge, then fly to a mating swarm (lek), which attracts females. Females select their mates and obtain the food offering. The pair then leaves the swarm and completes copulation on nearby vegetation. From Downes (1970) with permission from the Entomological Society of Canada.

varying degrees of parental investment in offspring that determines the survival of eggs and juveniles. Selection of suitable sites for oviposition affects the exposure of eggs to abiotic conditions suitable for hatching. The choice of oviposition site also affects the exposure of hatching immatures to predators and parasites and their proximity to suitable food resources. Nesting behavior, brood care, and sociality represent stages in a gradient of parental investment in survival of offspring.

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