• Stridulation in the coconut rhinoceros beetleOryctes rhinoceros (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

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    • Keywords


      Oryctes rhinoceros ; stridulation; pars stridens; plectrum; courtship

    • Abstract


      The coconut rhinoceros beetleOryctes rhinoceros produces different kinds of stridulatory sound under different conditions. Intense stridulations are made quite frequently by the male during courtship and mating attempts. Males also produce characteristic stridulations during aggressive encounters with other beetles, and distress stridulations, when disturbed manually. Females also stridulate, though less frequently. Sexually immature females produce feeble repellence stridulations while courted by males. Gravid females, when confined with males, are found to mimic the courtship and mating behaviour of the males, meanwhile producing intense stridulations resembling male courtship and mating stridulation. This behaviour, presumably has an ovipository motive and, to our knowledge, is the first instance of ‘’pseudomale’ activity to be reported in insects.

      Stridulatory mechanism comprises rubbing of a specialised region along the margin of the apex of the elytron —the pars stridens, against a series of striations —the plectrum, occupying the dorsum of the 7th abdominal tergite. Stridulation is possible with a single pars stridens, either of the left or right elytron, both being identical. No sexually dimorphic difference is apparent in the pars stridens. Plectral structure exhibits sexual dimorphism, being much prominent in the male.

      Wing-locking is necessary to keep the elytra in the stridulatory position. Locking is effected by a longitudinal flange along the median side of one elytron (either the left or right, irrespective of the sex) fitting into a corresponding depression along the other. This differs from the reported cases in other coleopterans in which the flange of the left elytron extends under the right when locked.

    • Author Affiliations


      A Mini1 V K K Prabhu1

      1. Department of Zoology, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Trivandrum - 695 581, India
    • Dates


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