Mate discrimination in invasive whitefly species

David W. Crowder, Michael I. Sitvarin, Yves Carrière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Mate discrimination could be critical for invasive species that need to locate rare suitable mates and avoid costs associated with misdirected courtships to establish in new environments. Here, we tested whether individuals of two invasive whitefly species in the Bemisia tabaci species complex, commonly known as the B and Q biotypes, could discriminate between potential mates based on their species and sex. Behavioral observations showed that B females were more discriminating than Q females. Males of both species were able to discriminate between mates based on their species and sex, but in general B males discriminated more effectively than Q males. By incorporating these behavioral data into a conceptual model, we show that variation in mating behavior between females of different species was a more significant factor affecting mating than variation between males. These results indicate that mate discrimination could affect interactions between whitefly species and influence a species' ability to colonize novel environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-380
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Bemisia tabaci complex
  • Mate choice
  • Mating behavior
  • Reproductive interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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