Evidence for volatile chemical attractants in the beetle Maladera matrida argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Gal Yarden, Arnon Shani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The Maladera matrida beetle (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Melolonthinae), a relatively new species to science, was first identified in Israel in 1983. In the course of field observations it was found that adult M. matrida beetles emerged from the soil at sunset to feed and mate. During the first 20 min of flight, most of the beetles were males. The females emerged shortly afterwards, and aggregations numbering 20-30 individuals with equal proportions of males and females were eventually formed on peanut plants. Laboratory olfactometer bioassays showed that peanut leaves (food) attracted both males and females. Field-trapping experiments and olfactometer studies showed that M. matrida beetles were highly attracted by live virgin females in the presence of food (cut-up peanut leaves). Another set of field trapping experiments indicated that airborne volatiles produced by live virgin females plus food had the same attracting ability as live virgin females plus food. The attraction exerted by the combination of live virgin females and peanut leave volatiles suggests a synergism effect. Accordingly, we propose a two-stage mechanism of chemical communication in the M. matrida beetles: first, the males cause mechanical damage to the host plant to attract both sexes; later, the females emit attractants (sex pheromone) while eating or shortly thereafter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2673-2685
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Coleoptera
  • Maladera matrida
  • Scarabaeidae
  • aggregation
  • attractants
  • collection of volatiles
  • field trapping
  • host plant volatiles
  • olfactometer
  • sex pheromone
  • synergism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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