Original paper

Does social isolation during early development affect the reproductive behaviour of the amphipod Hyalella azteca (Saussure, 1858)?

Pascoe, David; Carroll, Kathleen; Bowker, David W.

Abstract

Hyalella azteca, in common with other amphipods, exhibits precopulatory pairing, when the male carries the female beneath his ventral surface for several days until she moults, and so ensures successful sexual contact during the post ecdysis period when mating can occur. Although animal courtship is a ritualist behaviour, for some groups there is clear evidence that mating behaviour and mate selection are dependant upon and can be influenced by experiences and learning during early development stages. This study was designed to examine the effect of social isolation, during neonatal development, on the success of H. azteca in forming precopula pairs for the first time. The results demonstrated that animals reared in isolation and so deprived of physical, visual and chemical exposure to conspecifics formed precopula pairs at the same developmental time and with the same frequency as animals which had been reared together with their conspecifics.

Keywords

hyalella aztecaamphipodaprecopulatory guardingreproductivebehavioursocial isolation