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Timema monikense - Timema chumash - male - female

Timema monikense - Timema chumash - Male Female
Santa Monica Mountains, Ventura County, California, USA
April 4, 2018
Size: ~20-30mm
Found on Ceanothus cuneatus and Adenostoma fasciculatum. Of the 9 found, 3 were males, and 6 were females.

Images of this individual: tag all
Timema monikense - Timema chumash - male - female Timema monikense - Timema chumash - male - female

Moved from Timema monikense.

Fascinating find, Alice!
The terminalia of the male are closer in form to those of T. monikense than to any other species appearing in the reference figure from Vickery & Sandoval(2001). In particular, the sinistral cercus has an obliquely-truncate distal edge (on the interior side of it's outer fork), and a very large, "tooth-like" flange lower down on its inner side.

It's interesting to not only see the male (in a species that's presumed to be parthenogenetic)...but to also see him mate-guarding a female, as is typical behavior in sexually-reproducing species. I would think that mate-guarding behavior would pre-suppose actual mating...raising questions about the nature of parthenogenesis in this species, and how often parthenogenesis may be supplemented by sexual interactions (e.g. involving copulatory behavioral & genetic interchange with males)?

I wonder if either of the other two males you found were mate-guarding?

Based on male T. monikense actually belong to a disjunct population of T. chumash which co-occurs with the parthenogenic T. monikense. The females from this location also look to be T. chumash based on the shape of the subgenital plate. Just to make Timema more complicated!!!

Moved from Timema.