, Volume 13, Issue 10, pp 1993-2008

Cuticular hydrocarbons regulate mate recognition, male aggression, and female choice of the rove beetle,Aleochara curtula

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Immature, starved, or multiply mated males of the staphylinid beetle,Aleochara curtula, mimic their females chemically. The titer of the female sex pheromone components (Z)-7-heneicosene and (Z)-7-tricosene was quantified for various physiological types and both sexes by gas chromatography and correlated with the sexual response of males towards the cuticular hydrocarbon fractions. Modulation of intermale aggression by production of the female pheromone was shown by (1) reduction of the alkene titer of females kept at elevated temperatures, (2) treating live males with the synthetic female pheromone mixture, and (3) gradual amputation of male antennal segments.A. curtula males do not fight against members of otherAleochara species with a different hydrocarbon pattern. Contamination ofA. peschkei males with the hydrocarbon fraction ofA. curtula males, however, provoked the release of aggression. Choosy females reject mating attempts of males bearing the female sex pheromone.