Contrasting Volatilomes of Livestock Dung Drive Preference of the Dung Beetle Bubas bison (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Nisansala N. Perera, Paul A. Weston, Russell A. Barrow, Leslie A. Weston, Geoff M. Gurr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Volatile cues can play a significant role in the location and discrimination of food resources by insects. Dung beetles have been reported to discriminate among dung types produced by different species, thereby exhibiting behavioral preferences. However, the role of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in dung localization and preference remains largely unexplored in dung beetles. Here we performed several studies: firstly, cage olfactometer bioassays were performed to evaluate the behavioral responses of Bubas bison (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) to VOCs emanating from fresh horse, sheep, and cattle dung; secondly, concurrent volatilome analysis was performed to characterize volatilomes of these dung types. Bubas bison adults exhibited greater attraction to horse dung and less attraction to cattle dung, and they preferred dung from horses fed a pasture-based diet over dung from those fed lucerne hay. Volatilomes of the corresponding dung samples from each livestock species contained a diverse group of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, phenols, and sulfurous compounds, but the composition and abundance of annotated VOCs varied with dung type and livestock diet. The volatilome of horse dung was the most chemically diverse. Results from a third study evaluating electroantennogram response and supplementary olfactometry provided strong evidence that indole, butyric acid, butanone, p-cresol, skatole, and phenol, as well as toluene, are involved in the attraction of B. bison to dung, with a mixture of these components significantly more attractive than individual constituents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4152
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Contrasting Volatilomes of Livestock Dung Drive Preference of the Dung Beetle Bubas bison (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this