The role of male sounds in attracting females and in mating was investigated in the three most common species of Micronecta found in ponds 60 km NE of Melbourne, Australia: M. concordia, M. tasmanica and M. robusta. In playback experiments using recorded male signals, females were attracted to signals of conspecific males, in preference to signals of heterospecific sympatric males. Studies of mating behaviours using video recording, showed that signals were obligatory for mating. These findings strongly suggest that acoustic signalling is important in reproductive isolation in Micronecta. Comparisons between matings and rejected matings showed that, within each species, copulation only occurred following a certain minimum number of acoustic signals with more pulse-trains than the mean for the species. Low amplitude sounds (after signals) were also important in courtship, immediately preceding mating. No sounds occurred during copulation.
Acoustic communication, mating, playback, Micronecta, water bugs