Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 361–371 | Cite as

Mechanism of aggregation behavior inMaladera matrida Argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

  • Ali R. Harari
  • David Ben-Yakir
  • David Rosen


AdultMaladera matrida Argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) males emerge from soil for an active period at dusk, a few minutes before the females. Adults are found during most of the active hours on the foliage in aggregations composed of an equal sex ratio. The mechanism of aggregation behavior ofM. matrida beetles was studied in a Y-shaped olfactometer. No evidence was found for the existence of an aggregation pheromone released either by males or by females, but behavior tests indicate that adultM. matrida beetles, males as well as females, are attracted to volatiles of an injured host plant. The following scenario is suggested: Males emerge daily from soil at dusk, a few minutes before the females, and immediately start feeding. Additional males are attracted to the injured host's volatiles and form aggregations. When females emerge from soil, the attractant volatiles are concentrated in spots, and the females join the aggregations, forming an equal sex ratio.

Key Words

Coleoptera Scarabaeidae Maladera matrida aggregation plant volatiles olfactometer attractant behavior 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alcock, J. 1982. Natural selection and communication among bark beetles.Fla. Entomol. 65:17–32.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous. 1991. Keep outdoor light off to discourage rust beetles.The Arabian Sun XLVII (37), September 25, 1991 p. 5, Saudi Aramco Public Affairs (Pub.), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.Google Scholar
  3. Argaman, Q. 1986.Maladera matrida—a new scarabaeid in Israel.Shapirit 4:41–46 (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  4. Argaman, Q. 1990. Redescription ofMaladera matrida (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae).Isr. J. Entomol. 24:21–27.Google Scholar
  5. Bailey, W.J. 1991. Mate finding: selection on sensory cues, pp. 42–74,in W.J. Bailey and J. Ridsdill-Smith (eds.). Reproductive Behavior of Insects, Individuals and Populations, Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  6. Bartelt, R.J., Dowd, P.F., Plattner, R.D., andWeisleder, D. 1990a. Aggregation pheromone of driedfruit beetle,Carpophilus hemipterus. Wind-tunnel bioassay and identification of two novel tetraene hydrocarbons.J. Chem. Ecol. 16:1015–1039.Google Scholar
  7. Bartelt, R.J., Dowd, P.F., Shorey, H.H., andWeisleder, R. 1990b. Aggregation pheromone ofCarpophilus freemani (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae): A blend of conjugated triene and tetraene hydrocarbons.Chemoecology 1:105–113.Google Scholar
  8. Dolinski, M.G., andLoschiavo, S.R. 1973. The effect of fungi and moisture on the locomotory behavior of the rusty grain beetle,Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Cucujidae).Can. Entomol. 105:485–490.Google Scholar
  9. Domek, J.M., andJohnson, D.T. 1988. Demonstration of semiochemically induced aggregation in the green June beetle,Cotinis nitida (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).Environ. Entomol. 17:147–149.Google Scholar
  10. Domek, J.M., andJohnson, D.T. 1990. Inhibition of aggregation behavior in the green June beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) by antibiotic treatment of food substrate.Environ. Entomol. 19:995–1000.Google Scholar
  11. Dowd, P.F., andBartelt, R.J. 1991. Host-derived volatiles as attractants and pheromone synergists for driedfruit beetle,Carpophilus hemipterus.J. Chem. Ecol. 17:285–308.Google Scholar
  12. Eisner, T., andMeinwald, J. 1987. Alkaloid-derived pheromones and sexual selection in Lepidoptera, pp. 251–269,in G.D. Prestwich and G.J. Blomquist (eds.). Pheromone Biochemistry. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida.Google Scholar
  13. Gol'berg, A.M., Yathom, S., Almogi-Labin, A., andFridland-Wunder, G. 1989. Diurnal and seasonal occurrence, feeding habits and mating behavior ofMaladera matrida adults in Israel.Phytoparasitica 17:81–89.Google Scholar
  14. Kard, B.M.R., andHaim, F.P. 1990. Flight patterns and white grub population densities of three beetle species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina.J. Entomol. Sci. 25:34–43.Google Scholar
  15. Klein, Z.I., andChen, C. 1983. Interceptions and introductions of new pests in Israel.Phytoparasitica 11:124 (abstract).Google Scholar
  16. Knope, J.A.E., andPitman, G.B. 1972. Aggregation pheromone for manipulation of the Douglasfir beetle.J. Econ. Entomol. 65:723–726.Google Scholar
  17. Ladd, T.L. 1970. Sex attraction in the Japanese bettle.J. Econ. Entomol. 63:340–344.Google Scholar
  18. Lin, H., Phelan, P.L., andBartelt, R.J. 1992. Synergism between synthetic food odors and the aggregation pheromone for attractingCarpophilus lugubris in the field (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae).Environ. Entomol. 21:156–159.Google Scholar
  19. Peng, C., andWeiss, M.J. 1992. Evidence of an aggregation pheromone in the flea bettle,Phyllotreta cruciferae (Goeze) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).J. Chem. Ecol. 18:875–884.Google Scholar
  20. Phillips, J.K., andBurkholder, W.E. 1981. Evidence for a male-produced aggregation pheromone in the rice weevil.J. Econ. Entomol. 74:539–542.Google Scholar
  21. Potter, D.A. 1980. Flight activity and sex attraction of northern and southern masked chafers in Kentucky.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 73:414–417.Google Scholar
  22. Shorey, H.H. 1973. Behavioral response to insect pheromones.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 18:349–380.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Sokal, R.R., andRohlf, F.J. 1969. Biometry. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, 776 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Trematerra, P., andGiragenti, P. 1989. Influence of pheromone and food attractants on trapping ofSitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): A new trap.J. Appl. Entomol. 108:12–20.Google Scholar
  25. Visser, J.H. 1986. Host odor perception in phytophagous insects.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 31:121–144.Google Scholar
  26. Walgenbach, C.A., Burkholder, W.E., Curtis, M.J., andKhan, Z.A. 1987. Laboratory trapping studies withSitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).J. Econ. Entomol. 80:763–767.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali R. Harari
    • 1
  • David Ben-Yakir
    • 2
  • David Rosen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyThe Hebrew University, Faculty of AgricultureRehovolIsrael
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyThe Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael

Personalised recommendations