Mate Attraction: Food or Pheromone

Burying Beetle

Burying Beetle

Male burying beetles in the Genus Nicrophorus have two ways to find a mate. The beetle may fly to the carcass of a dead animal and mate with females who are also attracted to the dead carcass. Alternatively, males can emit a pheromone that is attractive to females and mate with a female in hopes that she will eventually locate a suitable carcass to lay her fertilized eggs. Males can alter the time spent searching for a carcass or calling with pheromone. Males that succeed in locating a carcass spend more time searching for carcasses and less time pheromone calling that males that have located a carcass. We do not yet know what factors are important in triggering the change in male mate search behavior.

Tess E. P. Mulrey, Anne-Katrin Eggert, Scott K. Sakaluk.  2015.  Switching tactics: phenotypic plasticity in the alternative mate-finding tactics of burying beetles.   Animal Behaviour 108 (2015) 175e182

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mate Attraction: Food or Pheromone

  1. Pingback: Burying Beetle | Living With Insects Blog

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