Patterns of seed penetration by the date stone beetle Coccotrypes dactyliperda (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Scolytinae)

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Abstract

The cryptic spermatophagus date stone beetle (Coccotrypes dactyliperda Fabricius, 1801) tunnels into palm seeds for oviposition and subsequent establishment of brood galleries. Based on behavioral observations this paper describes the biomechanical and gustatory parameters that govern the initial excavation of the tunnels and the subsequent establishment of the galleries. When tunneling into Canary Islands Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis Chabaud, 1882) seeds, penetration principally occurs at the dorsal side of the seed, in particular the groove, which allows the beetle to gain the required traction. Tunneling is executed in a circular fashion with clockwise or counter-clockwise repositioning in approximately one-eighth to one-quarter turns. Biomechanically, the three pairs of legs provide thrust (hind legs), pivoting (mid legs), and lateral control (fore legs). Gustatory cues, the nature of which remains unclear at this point, prevent the beetle from tunneling through to the other side.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages14
JournalInsects
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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