Mechanism of aggregation behavior in Maladera matrida Argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Ali R. Harari, David Ben-Yakir, David Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Adult Maladera matrida Argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) males emerge from soil for an active period at dusk, a few minutes before the females. Adults are found during most of the active hours on the foliage in aggregations composed of an equal sex ratio. The mechanism of aggregation behavior of M. matrida beetles was studied in a Y-shaped olfactometer. No evidence was found for the existence of an aggregation pheromone released either by males or by females, but behavior tests indicate that adult M. matrida beetles, males as well as females, are attracted to volatiles of an injured host plant. The following scenario is suggested: Males emerge daily from soil at dusk, a few minutes before the females, and immediately start feeding. Additional males are attracted to the injured host's volatiles and form aggregations. When females emerge from soil, the attractant volatiles are concentrated in spots, and the females join the aggregations, forming an equal sex ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Coleoptera
  • Maladera matrida
  • Scarabaeidae
  • aggregation
  • attractant
  • behavior
  • olfactometer
  • plant volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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