Reproductive interference in insects

David Michael Shuker, Emily Rose Burdfield-Steel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


1. Reproductive interference occurs when members of different species engage in reproductive interactions, leading to a fitness cost to one or both actors.

2. These interactions can arise through signal interference (‘signal-jamming’), disrupted mate searching, heterospecific rivalry, mate choice errors, or misplaced courtship, mating attempts or copulation.

3. We present a definition of reproductive interference (RI) and discuss the extent to which a failure of species discrimination is central to a definition of RI.

4. The possible mechanisms of RI are reviewed, using a range of insect examples.

5. Some of the causes and consequences of RI are discussed, focusing in particular on mating systems and mating system evolution.

6. We conclude by considering future ways forward, highlighting the opportunities for new theory and tests of the old theory presented by reproductive interference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue numberS1
Early online date29 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Behaviour
  • Competition
  • Harassment
  • Inter-specific interactions
  • Satyr effect
  • Sexual conflict


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