Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beetle mating requires strong grip as defensive behavior

Date:
August 15, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Sexual selection in the forked fungus beetle favors larger body and horn size, and a new study investigates the relationship between these traits and the beetles' grip strength.

A large male B. cornutus undergoing a grip strength trial. (A) The male grips the dowel rod in a similar fashion to how males grip females during courtship and guarding in the wild. (B) The same male at maximum resistance just before releasing the dowel rod.
Credit: Benowitz et al, PLoS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042738.g002

Sexual selection in the Forked Fungus Beetle favors larger body and horn size, and a new study investigates the relationship between these traits and the beetles' grip strength, which is crucial for the male to hold on to the female and shield her from other males in an elaborate courtship ritual.

The full results are reported on Aug. 15 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

During the courtship ritual, male beetles grab onto the female, sometime for several hours, which would seem to favor males with stronger grip. A video of this behavior is included with the published paper. The authors of the study, led by Vincent Formica of Swarthmore College, tested the grip strength of 84 beetles, both male and female, by tying a piece of thread around the beetles' bodies, allowing them to wrap their legs around a small rod, and then pulling the beetle vertically until they released the rod.

The researchers found that grip strength was very consistent for each individual, that males overall have a stronger grip, and that this sexual dimorphism appears to result from a complex relationship between body size and leg length. Their results, they write, suggest that there is a suite of traits that influence grip performance and therefore might affect sexual selection.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kyle M. Benowitz, Edmund D. Brodie, Vincent A. Formica. Morphological Correlates of a Combat Performance Trait in the Forked Fungus Beetle, Bolitotherus cornutus. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e42738 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042738

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Beetle mating requires strong grip as defensive behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815174856.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, August 15). Beetle mating requires strong grip as defensive behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815174856.htm
Public Library of Science. "Beetle mating requires strong grip as defensive behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815174856.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins