Wing-waving behaviors are used for conspecific display in the Japanese scorpionfly, Panorpa japonica

Ryo Ishihara, Takahisa Miyatake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Species of scorpionfly (Mecoptera) in the family Panorpidae perform wing-waving behaviors, whereby they rotate their front and rear wings at the same time. Previous studies have suggested that a male, which carries food for use as nuptial gifts for females, performs the wing-waving behavior when the male gives the gift to a female or competes with other males. However, when and how the wing-waving behavior occurs during a series of nuptial giftings and male–male competitions have not been investigated. Therefore, we here observed the role of wing-waving behavior during the processes of giving nuptial gifts and male–male competition in the Japanese scorpionfly Panorpa japonica in the laboratory and field. Unlike previous studies, only males performed wing-waving behavior toward females, while females did not exhibit the behavior in the wild. Also, males always performed wing-waving behavior before male–male competition. After a male–male competition, winner males continued wing-waving behavior, but loser males never performed the behavior against the winner male. A comparison of wing-waving behaviors before competitions between winner and loser males showed that the frequencies of wing-waving behaviors were higher in winner than in loser males. The present results suggest that the wing-waving behavior functions in the inter-sexual and intra-sexual selection in P. japonica. Digital video images related to the article are available at and and

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ethology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Male–male combat
  • Nuptial gift
  • Panorpidae
  • Sexual selection
  • Wing display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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