Effect of mate-guarding on the swimming behaviour of female Euterpina acutifrons (Copepoda, Harpacticoida)

  • R. J. Wasserman
  • T. J. F. Vink.
Journal of Plankton Research, 2014

During copulation bouts, Euterpina acutifrons males grasp females and cling for extended periods as a form of mate-guarding. The present study assessed the effects of such mate-guarding on the swimming behaviour of grasped females using three-dimensional video analysis techniques. Mate-carrying female (CF) E. acutifrons spent significantly more time swimming at slower speeds than non mate-carrying females (NCF). In addition, CF’s did not attain the maximum swimming-speeds attained by their NCF counterparts. Carrying females, however, displayed more complex swimming trajectories and were observed swimming in tight helical loops. We postulate that CF’s were attempting to dislodge guarding males with this behaviour, as a form of mate-guarding interference. Notes are made on these findings within the context of predation threat.

  title={Effect of mate guarding on the swimming behaviour of female Euterpina acutifrons (Copepoda, Harpacticoida)},
  author={Wasserman, RJ and Vink, TJF},
  journal={Journal of Plankton Research},
  publisher={Oxford University Press}