Reproductive Behavior and Sexual Selection

  • Diogo Silva Vilela
  • Iago Sanmartín-Villar


Aquatic insects present diverse reproductive strategies, tactics, and complex life cycles which require distinct amounts of space and different food sources. And to achieve the reproductive goals they make use of many other strategies. Such reproductive repertoire allowed these insects to evolve the most intricate and fantastic mating systems, often involving conspicuous ornaments. This chapter treats some of these subjects, providing examples from studies carried out worldwide with aquatic insect orders, approaching differences among males and females, sex ratio, sex maturation, reproductive strategies, and all aspects that are involved in success or failure of the competitors. In the first part of this chapter, we treat all insect orders that are aquatic (complete cycle under the water) and semiaquatic (larval stage under the water), mentioning the life cycles and some reproductive tactics. In the second part, we discuss about the theoretical approach concerning insect reproduction such as sexual selection, trade-offs, and roles of polymorphism.


Behavior Evolution Mating systems Territoriality Sexual ornaments 



We would like to thank the organizers of the book for the opportunity to write this chapter. We also thank Natasha Mhatre (Fig. 10.1), Adolfo Cordero Rivera (Fig. 10.6c), and Frederico Falcão Salles (Figs. 10.4, 10.6a, d, 10.8, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.13) for the use of photographs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diogo Silva Vilela
    • 1
  • Iago Sanmartín-Villar
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Entomology, Department of BiologyUniversity of São Paulo (USP)Ribeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.IVEP Team, CRCA – CNRS, Université Toulouse III - Paul SabatierToulouseFrance

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