• Effects of female postmating odour on male sexual behaviour, in Heliconius butterflies /

      Cornish, Matt.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2001-05-21)
      The effects of the female postmating odour on male sexual behaviour were examined in Heliconius erato and H. charithonia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Predictions from the antiaphrodisiac hypothesis were tested using the two reproductive strategies of these species. Within the pupal mating strategy, results from behavioural experiments quantified and statistically tested dispersal rates of pupal-perched males to the presence of stimuli with and without the postmating odour. Results do not support an antiaphrodisiac function to the postmating odour. Similarly, within the adult courtship strategy, behavioural test results indicate that males do not alter their expenditure of energy in terms of either the duration or frequency of courtship behaviours elicited by females with and without the postmating odour. The data from both experiments did not support the antiaphrodisiac hypothesis for the function of the female postmating odour. A novel hypothesis predicting that the postmating female odour acts as an oviposition-deterring pheromone is presented.