Geographic variation in male courtship acoustics and genetic divergence of populations of the Cotesia flavipes species complex Academic Article uri icon


  • Courtship behaviors of insect populations can vary across the range of a species. Populations exhibiting divergent courtship behavior may indicate genetic divergence or cryptic species. Courtship acoustic signals produced by male wing fanning and genetic structure (using amplified fragment length polymorphisms) were examined for seven allopatric populations of the Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) species complex, using four C. sesamiae (Cameron) and three C. flavipes Cameron populations. Members of this species complex parasitize lepidopteran pests in gramineous crops including sugarcane, maize, and rice. Significant variation was detected in courtship acoustic signals and genetic structure among populations of both species. For C. sesamiae, courtship acoustic signals varied more between populations of two biotypes that were collected near an area of sympatry. The two biotypes of C. sesamiae were also genetically divergent. For C. flavipes, significant differences in acoustic signals and genetic structure occurred among allopatric populations; these differences support the recent designation of one population as a new species. Courtship acoustics play a role in reproductive isolation in this species complex, and are likely used in conjunction with chemical signals. Ecological factors such as host range and host plant use may also influence the divergence of both courtship acoustic signals and genetic structure among populations in the C. flavipes complex. 2010 The Authors. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 2010 The Netherlands Entomological Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Joyce, A. L., Bernal, J. S., Vinson, S. B., Hunt, R. E., Schulthess, F., & Medina, R. F.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Joyce, AL||Bernal, JS||Vinson, SB||Hunt, RE||Schulthess, F||Medina, RF

publication date

  • November 2010