Behavior of Paussus favieri Coleoptera, Carabidae, Paussini: A Myrmecophilous Beetle Associated with Pheidole pallidula Hymenoptera, FormicidaeReport as inadecuate

Behavior of Paussus favieri Coleoptera, Carabidae, Paussini: A Myrmecophilous Beetle Associated with Pheidole pallidula Hymenoptera, Formicidae - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

PsycheVolume 2012 2012, Article ID 940315, 9 pages

Research Article

Department of Environmental Biology, University “Roma Tre”, Viale G. Marconi 446, 00146 Rome, Italy

Azorean Biodiversity Group, University of Azores, CITA-A, Largo da Igreja, Terra Chã, 9700-851 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal

Water Ecology Team, Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy

Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0036, USA

Received 21 September 2011; Accepted 8 December 2011

Academic Editor: Jean Paul Lachaud

Copyright © 2012 Emanuela Maurizi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Several specimens of the myrmecophilous beetle Paussus favieri were reared in ant nests of Pheidole pallidula. Their interactions were recorded and all behaviors observed are described. Duration and frequency of five behaviors of P. favieri were analyzed with ANOVA and post hoc Tukey tests; these comprised rewarding, antennal shaking, antennation, escape, and “no contact”. Significant differences both in duration and in frequency among behaviors were detected. The main result is that the rewarding behavior, during which the beetle provides attractive substances to the host, is performed significantly more frequently than all others. This result strongly supports the hypothesis that the chemicals provided by the beetles and licked by the ants are of great importance for the acceptance and the full integration of P. favieri in the ant society. This result also suggests that, contrary to previous findings and interpretations, the myrmecophilous strategy of P. favieri is very similar to the symphilous strategy described for P. turcicus. The occasional interactions of some beetle specimens with the P. pallidula queen were recorded, illustrated, and discussed, indicating the possibility of a more complex strategy of P. favieri involving a chemical mimicry with the queen. In addition, the courtship performed by the beetle is described for the first time, together with a peculiar “cleaning” behavior, which we hypothesize functions to spread antennal chemicals over the body surfaces.

Author: Emanuela Maurizi, Simone Fattorini, Wendy Moore, and Andrea Di Giulio



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