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On Research and Entomological Education IV: Quantifying Mate Search in a Perfect Insect-Seeking True Facts and Insight (Coleoptera: Lampyridae, Photinus)

James E. Lloyd
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 83, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 211-228
DOI: 10.2307/3496340
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3496340
Page Count: 18
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On Research and Entomological Education IV: Quantifying Mate Search in a Perfect Insect-Seeking True Facts and Insight (Coleoptera: Lampyridae, Photinus)
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Abstract

Male Photinus collustrans LeConte fireflies fly over their grassland habitats flashing and seeking their flightless females. I followed individual males, measured, and took note of various aspects of their behavior. Then, from a sample of 255 male runs, with a total distance of 13.9 miles and 10,306 flashes, various sets of these males, those seemingly directed by other than search flight-plans, were removed to leave a sample to characterize "pure" search flight. Fireflies are good subjects for students to study foraging ecology and sexual selection, and from studies of common grassland fireflies it will be clear to students that even simple behavior by males of a single species, under seemingly uncomplicated and homogeneous conditions, can be complex, but provide opportunity for theoretical and empirical exploration. Among factors identified here as influencing male mate-seeking behavior were ambient temperature, ambient light level, and time of night. Other influencing factors, enigmas, and student explorations are indicated. /// Las luciérnagas machos de la especie Photinus collustrans LeConte vuelan sobre los pastizales destellando su luz y buscando a las hembras que no pueden volar. Seguí a los machos, los medí y tome notas de varios aspectos de su comportamiento. Luego, de una muestra de 255 vuelos de los machos, con una distancia total de 13,9 millas y de 10.306 destellos, varios grupos de estos machos, esos dirigidos aparentemente por alguna otra razón que la de un vuelo de búsqueda, fueron removidos para formar una muestra que caracterice el vuelo de búsqueda "puro". Las luciérnagas son buenos elementos de estudio para los estudiantes de ecología del forraje y selección sexual. Del estudio de las luciérnagas comunes de los pastizales quedara claro para los estudiantes que, incluso el comportamiento simple de los machos de una sola especie, bajo condiciones aparentemente sencillas y homogéneas, puede ser complejo, pero proporciona la oportunidad para la exploración teórica y empírica. Entre los factores identificados aquí que influyen el comportamiento de búsqueda de la hembra, están la temperatura, el nivel de luz ambiental y la hora de la noche. Otros factores influyentes, enigmas y exploraciones de los estudiantes son incluidos.

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