oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Mating behaviour and activity patterns of Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)



Eclosion occurred during the first hours of the night, males emerging slightly before females. Males began displaying soon after their wings had set, in groups of 3-6 moths in the canopy of the host plants. This display, which possibly constituted calling, consisted of flapping the wings with the abdomen recurved and the pencil hairs extended. Females sometimes began similarly flapping just before mating, which lasted up to three hours. The presence of a single large chitinous spermatophore suggested that females probably mate only once. Predation by spiders was witnessed, mainly of males, but also of females and of mating pairs.


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