Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Visual Mating Signals

  • John Sivinski
  • Steven R. Wing
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3986

Evolution has sculpted and colored the surfaces of the arthropod body. Natural selection favored appearances that mislead predators through disguise and camouflage, i.e., “cryptic coloration,” and those that warn enemies to stay away through bright advertisements of distastefulness or dangerous weapons, i.e., “aposematic coloration.”’ In addition, body surfaces may help modify the effects of the physical environment, e.g., to absorb or reflect heat. Certain colors, shapes and movements also influence the behavior of the conspecifics in contexts including social interactions, e.g., honeybee dances. Other signals evolved in the context of mating.

Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Displays

These sex-related signals, or “displays,” are directed either toward rivals (usually males attempting to repel other males) or potential sexual partners (usually males attempting to attract mate-choosing females). Display surfaces, and the behaviors associated with their exhibition, have evolved...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sivinski
    • 1
  • Steven R. Wing
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA-ARSGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA