Sex Discrimination in Gerris remigis: Role of a Surface Wave Signal

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Science  14 Dec 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4424, pp. 1325-1327
DOI: 10.1126/science.206.4424.1325


Even when blinded with masks, adult male water striders (Gerris remigis) accurately ascertain the sex of other adult water striders in the laboratory. Freely moving females that were artificially made to play back computer-generated male surface wave and body-contact signals of about 90 waves per second were treated as males by the masked males and as females when no such playbacks were made. Thus, the males can use presence or absence of the male signal as the sole means for sex discrimination.