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Resource distribution and its effect on the mating system of a longhorned beetle, Perarthrus linsleyi (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

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Adults of Perarthrus linsleyi feed on flowers of creosote bush, Larrea tridentata. Mating also occurs on the flowers and foliage of this plant. This food resource is widely and evenly distributed in space, and is usually abundant. The spatial distribution of the beetles bore no relationship to the spatial distribution of flowers among creosote bushes, nor were female beetles distributed predictably with respect to flower distribution. Males moved widely over the area under study, and moved much more frequently than females. Males actively searched for females, and mounted and began copulation attempts without preliminary courtship. Males did not engage in aggressive defense of females, creosote flowers, or creosote bushes. This species exhibits a scramble competition mating system. The spatial distribution of the food resource is a primary factor in the evolution of the mating system of Perarthrus linsleyi.

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Goldsmith, S.K. Resource distribution and its effect on the mating system of a longhorned beetle, Perarthrus linsleyi (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Oecologia 73, 317–320 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377525

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Key words

  • Perarthrus
  • Cerambycidae
  • Mating system
  • Creosote bush
  • Phenology