Field observations on courting, mating and oviposition behaviour in Oedaleus senegalensis Krauss (Orthoptera: Acrididae)


ABSTRACT: Some aspects of the behaviour of Oedaleus senegalensis were studied during the daylight hours in the northern Sudan savanna zone of Nigeria. Courting, copulation and oviposition took place on bare ground or in sparsely vegetated areas. Males initiated courtship. Stridulation, posturing and vision were
used in communication. At any moment, one to four males courted a female. Males mounted females from the side or the rear. Females rejected males by aggressive kicking, creeping away, hopping or flying
off, raising or lowering the end of the abdomen or by raising the hind limbs. Males sometimes mounted one another whereas no female was observed mounting other hoppers. Mean duration of copulation in the morning was 38.75±2 min and in the evening 24,67±4.5 min. About 84.2% of the 19 copulations observed occurred in the morning (07.30 – 12.00h) and the rest in the evening. Males resumed search for females shortly after disengaging. Probing the soil by some females for egg laying was discontinued due to interference by males or unsuitable soil condition. The mean duration of egg laying was 60 ± 12 min. (range, 47-75 min.) Females covered the egg-pods with sand after laying.

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