Title

Song Structures in the Asian Rhinoceros Beetle

Presenter Information

Cole Sander

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The Asian rhinoceros beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus exhibits a strong sexual dimorphism. Males have massive four-pronged horns and engage in fierce competition over resource-rich territory and mates. Recent studies have suggested that female T. dichotomus will not always mate with males that control territory, despite these dimorphic traits that suggest a classical resource-defense mating system. These patterns suggest that females may be selecting males based on traits other than their large weapons, despite the reliability of weapon size as an honest signal of quality. Among the possible traits that females might use to judge fitness are male courtship songs. Males of the T. dichotomus species were recently discovered to be capable of song production and can exhibit at least two song types. The structures that males use to produce these unusually complex songs have never been identified. My project involves isolating and examining possible stridulatory structures on the exoskeleton ofT. dichotomus. I examined these structures with both a scanning electron and light microscope and am devising a method to characterize and differentiate these structures between individuals. I will relate characteristics of these structures to condition-dependent measures of male quality like body size or horn length. This study examines the structures that Asian rhinoceros beetles use to produce courtship songs and will help shed light on the factors that females use when selecting mates in the T. dichotomus mating system.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 17th, 10:40 AM Apr 17th, 11:00 AM

Song Structures in the Asian Rhinoceros Beetle

UC 330

The Asian rhinoceros beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus exhibits a strong sexual dimorphism. Males have massive four-pronged horns and engage in fierce competition over resource-rich territory and mates. Recent studies have suggested that female T. dichotomus will not always mate with males that control territory, despite these dimorphic traits that suggest a classical resource-defense mating system. These patterns suggest that females may be selecting males based on traits other than their large weapons, despite the reliability of weapon size as an honest signal of quality. Among the possible traits that females might use to judge fitness are male courtship songs. Males of the T. dichotomus species were recently discovered to be capable of song production and can exhibit at least two song types. The structures that males use to produce these unusually complex songs have never been identified. My project involves isolating and examining possible stridulatory structures on the exoskeleton ofT. dichotomus. I examined these structures with both a scanning electron and light microscope and am devising a method to characterize and differentiate these structures between individuals. I will relate characteristics of these structures to condition-dependent measures of male quality like body size or horn length. This study examines the structures that Asian rhinoceros beetles use to produce courtship songs and will help shed light on the factors that females use when selecting mates in the T. dichotomus mating system.