Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 243–257 | Cite as

The Role of Antennae in Mate Recognition in Phoracantha semipunctata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

  • Orlando Lopes
  • Paulo C. Marques
  • Jorge Araújo


The mating behavior of the eucalyptus longhorned borer Phoracantha semipunctata was studied to understand its mate recognition system. Bioassays were conducted to determine the existence of a cuticular chemical on its body surface and how individuals perceived it. Males walked oriented to and attempted copulation with live conspecifics only upon antennal contact with their bodies. They showed similar responses to intact dead females and males, but failed to respond to washed bodies. Dummies carrying male extracts were more likely to elicit copulation attempts than control dummies. This constitutes behavioral evidence that unidentified chemical(s) on the body surface play a major role in mate recognition, and can only be perceived after antennal contact. Sensilla trichodea on the antennal flagellum are candidates for this contact chemoreception. They are distributed throughout the entire flagellum, especially along its margins and at the tip of the distal flagellomere, and share structural features with contact chemosensory sensilla of other insects.


mate recognition bioassay antennal sensilla mechano-contact chemoreceptors eucalyptus longhorned borer Phoracantha semipunctata 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akino, T., Fukaya, M., Yasui, H., and Wakamura, S. (2001). Sexual dimorphism in cuticular hydrocarbons of the white-spotted longicom beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Entomol. Sci. 4: 271–277.Google Scholar
  2. Akutsu, K., and Kuboki, M. (1983a). Mating behavior of udo longicorn beetle, Acalolepta luxuriosa Bates (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Jpn. J. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 27: 189–196.Google Scholar
  3. Akutsu, K., and Kuboki, M. (1983b). Analysis of mating of udo longicorn beetle, Acalolepta luxuriosa Bates (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Jpn. J. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 27: 241–251.Google Scholar
  4. Barata, E. N. (1997). Olfactory Mechanisms Underlying Host Finding by the Eucalyptus Woodborer, Phoracantha semipunctata Fab. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). A Behavioural and Electrophysiological Approach, Ph.D. Thesis. University of Evora. Evora, Portugal.Google Scholar
  5. Dyer, L. J., and Seabrook, W. D. (1975). Sensilla on the antennal flagellum of the sawyer beetles Monochamus notatus (Drury) and Monochamus scutellatus (Say) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). J. Morphol. 146: 513–532.Google Scholar
  6. Fukaya, M., and Honda, H. (1992). Reproductive biology of the yellow-spotted Longicom Bettle, Psocothea hilaris, (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). I. Male mating behaviors and female sex pheromones. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 27: 89–97.Google Scholar
  7. Fukaya, M., Akino, T., Yasuda, T., Tatsuki, S., and Wakamura, S. (1999).Mating sequence and evidence of synergistic component in female contact sex pheromone of the white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca (Thomson) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Entomol. Sci. 2: 183–187.Google Scholar
  8. Fukaya, M., Yasuda, T., Wakamura, S., and Honda, S. (1996). Reproductive biology of the yellow-spotted longicorn beetle, Psacothea hilaris (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). III. Identification of contact sex pheromone on female body surface. J. Chem. Ecol. 22: 259–270.Google Scholar
  9. Ginzel, M. D., Blomquist, G. J., Millar, J. G., and Hanks, L. M. (2003). The role of contact pheromones in mate location and recognition in Xylotrechus colonus. J. Chem. Ecol. 29: 533–545.Google Scholar
  10. M. D. Ginzel, L. M. Hanks, (2003). Contact pheromones as mate recognition cues of four longhorned beetle species (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). J. Insect Behav. 16: 181–187. Google Scholar
  11. Hanks, L. M. (1999). Influence of the larval host plant on reproductive strategies of cerambycid beetles. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 44: 483–505.Google Scholar
  12. Hanks, L. M., Millar, J. G., and Paine, T. D. (1996). Mating behavior of the Eucalyptus longhorned borer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and the adaptive significance of long “horns”. J. Insect Behav. 9: 383–393.Google Scholar
  13. Iwabuchi, K. (1982). Mating behavior of Xylotrechus pyrrhoderus Bates (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). I. Behavioral sequences and existence of the male sex pheromone. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 17: 494–500.Google Scholar
  14. Iwabuchi, K. (1985). Mating behavior of Xylotrechus pytrhoderus Bates (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). II. Female recognition by male and the existence of a female sex pheromone. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 20: 416–423.Google Scholar
  15. Kim, G. H., Takabayashi, J., Takahashi, S., and Tabata, K. (1992). Function of pheromones in mating behavior of the Japanese pine sawyer beetle, Monochamus alternatus Hope. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 27: 489–487.Google Scholar
  16. Kim, G. H., Takabayashi, J., Takahashi, S., and Tabata, K. (1993). Function of contact pheromone in mating behavior of Cryptomeria bark borer, Semanotus japonicus Lacordaire (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Appl. Entomol. Zool. 28: 525–535.Google Scholar
  17. Lopes, O. (2000). Estudo Ultrastructural dos Sistemas Sensorial e Glandular de Phoracantha semipunctata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Implicados na Comunicaçāo Química, Tese de doutoramento. Universidade de Évora, Portugal.Google Scholar
  18. Lopes, O., Barata, E. N., Mustaparta, H., and Araújo, J. (2002). Fine structure of antennal sensilla basiconica and their detection of plant volatiles in the eucalyptus woodborer, Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Arthropod Struct. Develop. 31: 1–13.Google Scholar
  19. Marascuilo, L. A., and McSweeney, M. (1967). Nonparametric post hoc comparisons for trend. Psychol. Bull. 67: 401–412.Google Scholar
  20. Marques, P. (1992). Contribuiçāo para o Estudo da Biologia da Reproduçāo de Phoracantha semipunctata (Fabricius, 1775) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Estágio de Licenciatura em Recursos Faunisticos e Ambicnte, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa—Universidade de Evora.Google Scholar
  21. Wang, Q. (1998). Evidence for a contact female sex pheromone in Anoplophora chinensis (Forster) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Lamiinae). Coleopterists Bull. 52: 363–368.Google Scholar
  22. Wang, Q., Zeng, W., and Li, J. (1990). Reproductive behaviour of Paraglenea fortunei (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 83: 860–866.Google Scholar
  23. Wcislo, W. T., and Eberhard, W. G. (1989). Club fights in the weevil Macromerus bicinctus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 62: 421–429.Google Scholar
  24. Zacharuk, R. Y. (1980). Ultrastructure and function of insect chemosensilla. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 25: 27–47.Google Scholar
  25. Zar, J. H. (1984). Biostatistical Analysis, Second Edition, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  26. Zhang, A., Oliver, J. E., Chauhan, K., Zhao, B., Xia, L., and Xu, Z. (2003). Evidence for contact sex recognition pheromone of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Naturwissenschaften 90: 410–413.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orlando Lopes
    • 1
  • Paulo C. Marques
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jorge Araújo
    • 1
  1. 1.Unidade Ecologia Química, Centro Ecologia e AmbienteUniversidade de ÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Laboratório Biologia, Colégio Luis VerneyUniversidade de ÉvoraPortugal

Personalised recommendations