Antipredator Behavior Produced by Heterosexual and Homosexual Tandem Running in the Termite Reticulitermes chinensis (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Keywords:Predation risk, tandem running, Reticulitermes chinensis, dilution effect, sexual selection
Heterosexual and homosexual tandem running can be observed together in the alate pairings in some species of termites. This study examined the effect of heterosexual and homosexual tandem running in the termite Reticulitermes chinensis on the predation risk by a predatory ant, Leptogenys kitteli. Results showed that both heterosexual and homosexual tandem running reduced the predation risk of participants. When a male-male tandem encountered a female, the back male had a significant advantage over the front male in winning a female. Moreover, the back males were significantly heavier than the front males. These results indicated that the predation risk of dealates could be decreased by tandem running through the dilution effect. Furthermore, these data suggest that male-male tandem running could induce selection pressure in favor of vigorous males and may play an essential role in indirect sexual selection.
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