Stridulation in Aphodius dung beetles: behavioral context and intraspecific variability of song patterns in Aphodius ater (Scarabaeidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2001
Authors:P. Hirschberger
Journal:Journal of Insect Behavior
Keywords:communication, geographic variability, mate choice, mating system, substrate vibration

Aphodius dung beetles produce substrate vibrations by means of an abdomino- alary stridulatory organ. Applying a method that allows the recording of Aphodius vibrations under natural conditions in a small amount of dung, the stridulatory behavior of Aphodius ater was investigated. Male A. ater are acoustically active, while females rarely stridulate. Males have a complex song, which consists of a series of different patterns that are displayed in a specific order over a considerable time when a female is encountered in the dung. Different populations show the same stridulatory patterns but individ- ual variability is high and males display songs with differing complexity. It is hypothesized that females use the information within the song in the context of mate choice.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith