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Multi-modal analysis of courtship behaviour in the old world Leishmaniasis Vector Phlebotomus argentipes

Multi-modal analysis of courtship behaviour in the old world Leishmaniasis Vector Phlebotomus argentipes

Pimenta, Paulo Filemon, Bray, Daniel P., Yaman, Khatijah, Underhill, Beryl A., Mitchell, Fraser, Carter, Victoria and Hamilton, James G. C. (2014) Multi-modal analysis of courtship behaviour in the old world Leishmaniasis Vector Phlebotomus argentipes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8 (12):e3316. ISSN 1935-2735 (Print), 1935-2735 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003316)

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Abstract

The sand fly Phlebotomus argentipes transmits Leishmania parasites through female blood-feeding. These parasites cause leishmaniasis, a potentially fatal disease for which there is no vaccine. Understanding how insect vectors behave can aid in developing strategies to reduce disease transmission. Here, we investigate courtship behaviour in P. argentipes. Courtship is critical to an organism's life cycle, as it is essential for mating and reproduction. We show that courtship in this species begins with the male wing-flapping while approaching the female. This behaviour may suggest production of audio signals, or dispersal of chemicals from the male, which the female finds attractive. There then follows a period of touching between males and females prior to copulation. This behaviour may function in the transmission and reception of chemical signals, present on the insect surface. Many insects use these kinds of chemicals in courtship, and here we show differences in the chemicals extracted from the cuticle of male and female P. argentipes. Both males and females were found to be able to reject a potential mate. Understanding why some P. argentipes are more attractive than others could help identify the signals essential to reproduction, and their potential for use in vector control.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Bray et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sandflies, Behaviour, Leishmaniasis
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Chemical Ecology Research Group
Last Modified: 14 May 2019 09:24
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/14337

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