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Meaning of mating[edit]

I came here to learn the meaning of mating and this article does not satisfy it at all. Is mating the selection of a mate or the sexual act itself? We could consider marriage a mating ceremony, where sex may not be involved at all. Yet all your images of mating or when we talk of animals mating we mean sexual intercourse. Is mating sexual reproduction, or simply sex? We wouldn't tend to say that porn stars, casual sex etc was 'mating', but we would say a couple having a child are mating (or at least I would). Is a mate a lifelong partner, or can it be for a brief intercourse? The article needs to answer (or try to answer) these questions. (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Nonsense about midgets[edit]

Listen folks. Midgets have sexual needs to you know.

Funny how you see species of living organisms copulating and say "okay" and then you look at the human picture and you could possibly cry "porn!" (certainly in other different, but essentially the same depictions). Ha ha, aren't we humans strange things?

Is that a midget? yeah. is that really necessary? i'm opposed to censorship, especially self-censorship, but what is essentially midget porn is pretty unprofesionnal.Miles 00:56, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Err, are these pictures accurate? They look like something from a humor website

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Micoolio101 (talkcontribs) 

This article should include a picture of humans copulationg!-- 06:12, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

It does, apparently... one of them is a midget. 21:51, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
LOL, A midget! 12:03, 16 October 2006 (CET)


I put in a good, non-graphic shot of human copulation, if anyone objects, say so.--Revrant 02:53, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Uh I'm sorry can someone fix the links heh... WinterSpw 22:32, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Damns, I can't believe that no one has just grabbed their girlfriend, put it in and said 'cheese' incidentally, would human copulation best be represented by the missionary or doggy positions? The only time i've seen it in a 'wild' context would in a documentry (the expensive human evolution one where the actors were all French (ofcourse they didn't speak french but the 'making of' showed it). In that documentry, an early human grabs another early human of another subspecies and trys to put it in doggy style. but it does seem that the missionary position is more common nowadays..... so will two good specimens please mate or act as if they are mating and take a pic please :D

in the meantime, should it be represented by one of the illustrated drawings on the sexual positions page? Fatfool 14:43, 23 April 2007 (UTC)


These shouldn't be merged; Copulating is a physical act, whereas Mating covers a much wider area. Which means that guys and girls make babies. Canaen 09:07, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


see Talk:Sexual_intercourse#merged_mating. Redirecting this article soon. The first disambiguation sentence should be moved there before redirect. Lara bran 12:53, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

merging dropped[edit]

See Talk:Sexual_intercourse#merged_mating. Lara bran 05:16, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Line of text Cut[edit]

I have removed the line of text "Once the sperm is in goes WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and swims away into the organs."...Do i really need to justify this? Tristan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

No, but you should read help:reverting, because you haven't removed all the vandalism. I'll tidy it up. Richard001 (talk) 03:26, 1 March 2008 (UTC)


Is the line "Not to be confused with sexual intercourse" satirical? It made me laugh. (talk) 23:11, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I can see why you might think that's funny, but no, that's an entirely serious hatnote. There's some discussion at Talk:Copulation about the distinction between mating and sexual intercourse. The hatnote here is to disambiguate the two articles. -Noca2plus (talk) 23:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


The head section says that mating means something between animals, but this article has a section that introduces plant mating. And, in my sense (maybe wrong), mating is a biological concept which can be applied on all life forms. luuva (talk) 11:53, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Pleasure vs. reproduction[edit]

The end of the animals section seems to confuse proximate and ultimate causes in that it seems to suggest that pleasure and reproduction are two alternative reasons why animals and humans reproduce. Of course, sex being pleasurable is an adaptation that ensures reproduction occurs. An animal doesn't know anything about reproduction, it just mates because it's pleasurable (leaving aside the organisms which can't feel pleasure, whichever those are). Richard001 (talk) 00:08, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Most of animals don't have enough intelligence to know about the correlationship between there sexual behavior and reproduction. luuva (talk) 22:11, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Most animals may not know why they are mating, but almost all of them mate when the female is in estrus (in heat); this is why non-human animals are not thought to have sex generally for pleasure, like humans do. When they engage in mating behavior, it is almost always due to the reproduction factor urging them on. This is also sourced in the Sexual intercourse article. Flyer22 (talk) 19:13, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Contrary to my earlier post, it's more accurate to state "almost all [mammals] mate [only] when the female is in estrus (in heat)." Flyer22 (talk) 11:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


The page itself is fairly complete. It talks about 4 different methods of mating, which are actually not addressed in my chapter (Ch. 9: Mating Systems) of An Introduction To Behavioural Ecology by Davies, Krebs, and West. It also talks about plant and fungi. I would comment that they should include a section about humans, but the project is under WikiProject: Animals. Everything that I was going to comment on as missing is addressed in the Talk section in addition to some topics I did not originally think to consider. The Talk section lists that Mating systems is a topic needing to be covered, which is the whole focus of my chapter and what I was going to say was missing. WhitleyTucker (talk) 02:39, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Note: The topic of mating systems is extensively addressed in the Animal sexual behaviour article. Flyer22 (talk) 11:45, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Scope and title of of article[edit]

Should this article be only about mating in animals? Some definitions restrict the term "mating" to animals whilst others state "organisms", which obviously includes plants and fungi. If we are to include plants and fungi then the lead paragraph needs re-writing to reflect this. Mating in fungi and Mating of yeast are already articles and there is a section for plants in Mating systems. I propose that this Mating article should limit itself to animals and be renamed Mating in animals with links to the other pages __DrChrissy (talk) 17:28, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

For the same reason that the Mating system article is not restricted to mating among animals, I don't believe that this article should be restricted to such. By that, I mean that there should be a main article that discusses all aspects of mating; that's what the Mating article is for. If we were to do what you suggest, then the Mating article would need to be a redirect, with us trying to determine the best place to redirect it, or a disambiguation page. But per WP:Disambiguation, it should be neither. It should be an article because it is too complicated to determine the best place to redirect it to and it also falls under the "Broad-concept articles" aspect of the WP:Disambiguation guideline. You are still free to create a Mating in animals article, of course, but I think that the term mating is usually used with regard to animals. Therefore, this article can be primarily about mating among animals, which it currently mostly is, while acknowledging that the term mating also applies to plants and fungi by mentioning those aspects in the lead and having a section about them (pointing readers to the in-depth articles about the topic), which the article currently does. Flyer22 (talk) 17:56, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
If this is the case, then the lead should make it clear that it includes plants and fungus, and it makes it necessary to re-write the first sentence - I have never heard of plants and fungi mating for "copulation".__DrChrissy (talk) 18:14, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, per above, I've agreed that the lead should be expanded to mention plants and fungi...and accurately of course. Doing so is also in line with WP:LEAD. Flyer22 (talk) 18:21, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I've re-written the lead - let me know what you think.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:46, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw it. It looks fine to me, though, as you've probably seen by now, I tweaked it. Flyer22 (talk) 19:54, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Also, I was tempted to change "fishes" to "fish," but, per this section at the Fish article ("Fish or fishes," which I've seen before), we should probably keep it as "fishes," correct? Flyer22 (talk) 20:06, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Tweak is fine but probably needs a citation to balance it with previous definition. I do not feel strongly either way about "fish" or "fishes". Pluralisation can be a menace - see the arguement on Octopus!.__DrChrissy (talk) 15:46, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, because of the "fish" matter, for example, I know that plural vs. non-plural can be subject to debate. Flyer22 (talk) 15:58, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Just added info on yeasts. Do you think Plants and Fungi should have their own sections, as does Animals?__DrChrissy (talk) 16:17, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Considering that the In plants and fungi section is still small, close to the size of the In animals section, I don't see a reason to split it yet. Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout#Paragraphs, "Short paragraphs and single sentences generally do not warrant their own subheading." Flyer22 (talk) 16:22, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I should have removed "In" much earlier. Flyer22 (talk) 16:30, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Mate Choice[edit]

I was going to add the fact on how fireflies use their flash sequence in order to lure in females, or presumably mate choice among fireflies and different species of fireflies. Just something more general and not anything super specific. Turnbull.41 (talk) 03:01, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Turnbul.41

New addition suggestion:[edit]

I would like to add a small section on mating calls and their diversity. This is an important facet of many mating interactions and could add to the robustness of the article in general.

Here is the proposed text: (pre-formatting)

Mating Calls:

Discriminatory mate choice based on many different calling behaviors and characteristics have been studied, including call rate, call duration, duty cycle, and pulse rate (Pröhl, 2003). The relative importance of these calls varies widely among studied organisms. Explaining the diversity of these calls is a main focus of current scientific experimentation in order to determine the role of calls in sexual selection.

Factors Affecting Diversity:

Fitness Benefit:

For field crickets, differing chirp rates are postulated to be indicative of nutritional intake in the signaler. There is selection done by the females on the males for both calling songs and courtship songs. The females of this species of field crickets prefer both male crickets with higher chirp rates and longer chirp rates. The trait of higher chirp frequency has been shown to be dependent on nutritional intake, while the duration of chirps is independent of nutritional intake (Wagner, Reiser, 1999).


Mating calls are also affected by many different environmental factors. Marsh frogs in Bulgaria were shown to have a very strong correlation between the dominant frequency in their calls and various environmental factors (Lukanov, Tzankov, Nikolay, Simeonovska-Nikolova, 2014). Male calls in field cricket populations were also shown to have strong environmental influences. Seasonality had an effect on the time at which mating calls were proliferated in these species. The effect of seasons on the mating call was not limited to timing, but the length of calls was also affected (Velez, Brockmann, 2006).

Predator-Prey Relationship:

The use of calls undoubtedly attracts not only prospective reproductive interactions, but also leaves organisms open to dangerous situations. Aposematism refers to warning coloration that informs predators of some inherent, dangerous quality in the prey. Experiments have shown that frogs that exhibit aposematism, show a marked increase in the diversity of mating calls versus frogs lacking this quality. This protection of warning coloration allowed the organisms to proliferate calling signatures more freely, because of relaxed selection against them (Santos, Baquero, Barrio-Amoros, Coloma, Erdtmann, Lima, Cannatella, 2014; Halfwerk, 2014).


1] Pröhl, H. (2003), Variation in Male Calling Behaviour and Relation to Male Mating Success in the Strawberry Poison Frog (Dendrobates pumilio). Ethology, 109: 273–290.

2] William E. Wagner Jr., Michael G. Reiser (1999), The importance of calling song and courtship song in female mate choice in the variable field cricket. Animal Behaviour vol. 59, Issue 6, June 2000, pgs. 1219-1226.

3] Lukanov, Simeon P., Tzankov, Nikolay D., Simeonovska-Nikolova, Daniela M. (2014) Effects of Environmental Factors on Mating Call Characteristics of the Marsh Frog Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771) (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Bulgaria. Acta Zooligica Bulgarica Volume: 66. Issue: 2. June, 2014. pgs: 209-216

4] Vélez, Manuel J.; Brockmann, H. Jane. (2006), Seasonal variation in selection on male calling song in the field cricket, Gryllus rubens. Animal Behaviour vol. 72 issue 2 August, 2006. p. 439-448

5] Santos, Juan C; Baquero, Margarita; Barrio-Amoros, Cesar; Coloma, Luis A; Erdtmann, Luciana K; Lima, Albertina P; Cannatella, David C. (2014), Aposematism increases acoustic diversification and speciation in poison frogs. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, volume:281, issue:1796.

6] Halfwerk, Wouter (2014). Risks of multimodal signaling: bat predators attend to dynamic motion in frog sexual displays. Journal of experimental biology (0022-0949), 217, p. 3038.

Mhay.103 (talk) 23:14, 17 November 2014 (UTC) Mhay.103

File:Joined moths.JPG to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Joined moths.JPG will be appearing as picture of the day on June 11, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-06-11. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Chris Woodrich (talk) 00:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Picture of the day

Two poplar hawk-moths in the process of mating, the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms, generally for the purposes of sexual reproduction. Mating may involve copulation if the species' fertilization is internal, but not if it is external. Different species use different strategies to select a mate, including random mating, disassortative mating, assortative mating, and a mating pool.

Photograph: Kateshortforbob
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