|Checklist of the Collembola: Stenacidia violacea courtship (Collembola: Sminthurididae)|
Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium
Mirella Zeeders, Cala Serena, 07669, Mallorca, Spain
The courtship ritual of Stenacidia violacea is documented.
The MP4 video recordings were made hand held using a Nikon Coolpix P950 camera equiped with a Raynox DCR-250 macro lens. Neither flash nor tripod were used. In total, 32 minutes of video recording were made, between 15h45 and 16h19. The recordings were cut into short video clips using the free video cutting tool Free Cut Video. The video clips were resized to 240x180 pixels, and converted to animated gif format using the free online Video to GIF converter.
Time 00m. Begin of courtship ritual.
The male grabs both the basal antennal segments of the antennae of the female
using the clasping mechanism of its highly modified antennae.
This is typical courtship behaviour for all members of the family Sminthurididae.
The female lifts up the male and walks around with him being clasped to her antennae. The male as well as the female occasionally clean their flanks with striking movements of the backlegs. While turning around head against head, the male seems to have difficulties with walking using its legs. In addition its legs seem to tremble occasionally.
Time 28m. The male waves/trembles its front and middle legs at high frequency.
The legs are held horizontally and orthogonally to its body.
The legs are moved up and down at high speed.
The legs are moved alternativelly : front legs up - middle legs down,
then front legs down - middle legs up.
This is repeated continuously.
Time 30m. The male folds its 4th antennal segments together
and trembles them at high frequency.
At the same time he deposits a spermatophore.
Notice, the illustration of the spermatophore depostion is from
We assume that the trembling antennae signals to the female that the
spermatophore has been deposited.
Time 31m. The male releases the female. The female climbs over the male.
The male supports the female by lifting its head while she climbs over him.
At the other side the female takes up the spermatophore.
Both partners clean them selves and go their own way. It was noticed that the male ate the residu of the spermatophore. End of courtship around 32m.