Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 401–407 | Cite as

Reproductive Consequences of Male Arrival Order in the Bark Beetle, Ips grandicollis

  • Matthew R. E. Symonds
  • Michael J. L. Magrath
  • Tanya M. Latty


For group-living animals the choice of whether to join aggregations or initiate their own is influenced by potential benefits such as group protection and reduced energetic expenditure, as well as costs such as competition for food and mates. The bark beetle Ips grandicollis is an invasive pest species that colonises recently felled timber in Australian pine (Pinus spp.) plantations. Male beetles initiate colonies by burrowing under the bark of trees and emitting an aggregation pheromone which attracts conspecifics, including a harem of females with whom they mate. We predicted that males that initiated colonies, or who arrived early, would have larger harems than later arrivals (due to decreased competition for females). However, we found the opposite effect with early-arriving males actually associated with fewer females than later arriving males, although this may have resulted from some females leaving harems as they get older. We conclude that pioneering does not improve male likelihood of attracting females in Ips grandicollis, at least initially, but it may provide advantages for offspring when competing for food during development.


Aggregation harem size timing of arrival reproductive costs pioneer Scolytinae 



Forestry SA allowed us access to the Wirrabara plantations. We thank Charlma Phillips (Forestry SA) for making the arrangements for us to carry out the fieldwork, and the forester Bruno Turrini for logistical assistance and his generous help and enthusiasm. Emile van Lieshout and Kath McNamara provided comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. This research was funded by a Discovery Project Grant from the Australian Research Council, a Canadian Natural Sciences and Research Council Graduate Scholarship, and travel grants from the Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne and the Western Forest Genetics Association (Canada and USA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. E. Symonds
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael J. L. Magrath
    • 3
  • Tanya M. Latty
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife Conservation and ScienceZoos VictoriaParkvilleAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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