Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 169–182 | Cite as

Kinetics of larval gregarious behavior in the bark beetleDendroctonus micans (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)

  • J. -L. Deneubourg
  • J. -C. Grégoire
  • E. Le Fort


This paper provides a simple mathematical model of the aggregation behavior of the gregarious intracortical-feeding larvae of the bark beetle, Dendroctonus micans. The model's assumptions are that each individual produces pheromones at a constant rate and reacts positively to a pheromone gradient. These hypotheses have been tested by comparing experiments and simulations, both of which showed that (1) homogeneously distributed individuals aggregate rapidly at the center of the experimental or theoretical arena and (2) eccentric, preformed groups succeed in attracting dispersed individuals, provided that the initial size of these groups is sufficiently high. There is good agreement between most of the experimental and theoretical results, providing a link among chemical communication, density of larvae, and random events occurring during the development of a spatial structure.

Key words

aggregation pheromones aggregative behavior collective feeding Dendroctonus micans mathematical model 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -L. Deneubourg
    • 1
  • J. -C. Grégoire
    • 1
  • E. Le Fort
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Behavioural EcologyUniversité libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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