Mating systems of blood-feeding flies

Boaz Yuval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The mating system of each species is a unique, dynamic suite of interactions between the sexes. In this review I describe these interactions in the families of flies that contain blood-feeding species. A transition from the aerial swarm, with rapid copulae and no direct female choice, to substrate-based systems with lengthy copulae and opportunities for female choice is evident at both a phylogenetic scale and within nematoceran families under specific ecological conditions. Female monogamy is associated with the former, polyandry with the latter. I suggest that the intensity of sexual selection operating on males in systems where the probability of mating is low has favored male ability to control female receptivity. Reproductive success of males is universally correlated to successful foraging for sugar or blood and (in some species and ecological conditions) to body size. Understanding the ecological basis of the mating systems of these flies will help formulate integrative, sustainable, and biologically lucid approaches for their control.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)413-440
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
StatePublished - 2006


  • Diptera
  • Female choice
  • Sexual behavior
  • Swarm


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