The Best Timing of Mate Search in Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda, Oniscidea)

Fanny Beauche 1 Freddie-Jeanne Richard 1
1 EES - Ecologie, Evolution, Symbiose
EBI - Ecologie et biologie des interactions
Abstract : Mate choice is mediated by many components with the criteria varying across the animal kingdom. Chemical cues used for mate attractiveness can also reflect mate quality. Regarding the gregarious species Armadillidium vulgare (isopod crustacean), we tested whether individuals can discriminate conspecifics at two different levels (between sex and physiological status) based on olfactory perception. Tested conspecifics were individuals of the same or opposite sex, with the females at different moult stages. We found that the attractiveness of individuals was mediated by short-distance chemical cues and tested individuals were able to discriminate and prefer individuals of the opposite sex. Moreover, male preference to female increased during their moulting status as they matured. Males were particularly more attracted by females with appearing white calcium plates, which corresponds to the beginning of their higher receptivity period. These differences in attractiveness due to sex and physiological status are likely to shape the composition of aggregates and facilitate mate finding and optimize the reproductive success for both males and females. Thus aggregation pheromones could be linked to sex pheromones in terrestrial isopods.
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Fanny Beauche, Freddie-Jeanne Richard. The Best Timing of Mate Search in Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda, Oniscidea). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, pp.e57737. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0057737⟩. ⟨hal-00797152⟩

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