Lateralised courtship behaviour and its impact on mating success in Ostrinia furnacalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

Sohail Abbas, Aleena Alam, Muneer Abbas, Arzlan Abbas, Jamin Ali, Menno Schilthuizen, Donato Romano, Chen Ri Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lateralisation is a well-established phenomenon observed in an increasing number of insect species. This study aims to obtain basic details on lateralisation in courtship and mating behaviour in Ostrinia furnacalis, the Asian corn borer. We conducted laboratory investigations to observe lateralisation in courtship and mating behaviours in adult O. furnacalis. Our goal was also to detect lateralised mating behaviour variations during sexual interactions and to elucidate how these variances might influence the mating success of males. Our findings reveal two distinct lateralised traits: male approaches from the right or left side of the female and the direction of male turning displays. Specifically, males approaching females from their right side predominantly exhibited left-biased 180° turning displays, while males approaching females from the left-side primarily displayed right-biased 180° turning displays. Notably, left-biased males, executing a 180° turn for end-to-end genital contact, initiated copulation with fewer attempts and began copulation earlier than their right-biased approaches with left-biased 180° turning displays. Furthermore, mating success was higher when males subsequently approached the right side of females during sexual encounters. Left-biased 180° turning males exhibited a higher number of successful mating interactions. These observations provide the first report on lateralisation in the reproductive behaviour of O. furnacalis under controlled laboratory conditions and hold promise for establishing reliable benchmarks for assessing and monitoring the quality of mass-produced individuals in pest control efforts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian corn borer
  • courtship behaviour
  • lateralisation
  • mating success
  • O. furnacalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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