We determined the numbers of copulations and predatory attacks in swarms of Anopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae), and the distribution of these events throughout the duration of the swarming period each day. On 19 evenings of observation, we recorded 2724 copulating pairs leaving swarms and 1351 dragonfly (Pantala hymenaea and Erythemis collocata) attacks. Mating activity partially coincided with predator activity. Most copulations occurred between 10 and 20 min after the swarms formed, while predation events were most frequent during the initial 15 min of the swarm. We calculated the ratio of copulations to predatory attacks during the swarming period. This ratio was significantly higher in an area sheltered by trees than it was in the open. We suggest that physiological and ecological constraints other than predation operate on the mating system of this anopheline to affect the timing of swarm initiation and swarm site selection.
- Mating success