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Dynamic changes in volatile emissions of breeding burying beetles

Title data

Haberer, Wolf ; Steiger, Sandra ; Müller, Josef K.:
Dynamic changes in volatile emissions of breeding burying beetles.
In: Physiological Entomology. Vol. 39 (2014) Issue 2 . - pp. 153-164.
ISSN 1365-3032
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phen.12059

Abstract in another language

Burying beetles reproduce on small vertebrate carcasses by exhibiting elaborate biparental brood care. Partner recognition in breeding Nicrophorus species (Coleoptera: Silphidae) relies substantially on information encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Until recently, it was unknown whether breeding burying beetles also produce volatile low molecular weight substances and, if so, which functions can be attributed to such volatiles. The present study reports a survey of the volatiles released by males and females of Nicrophorus vespilloides Herbst in nonbreeding status and at different stages of breeding. Headspace analyses are performed by using solid phase micro‐extraction fibres and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The volatiles released by nonbreeding males and females include phenolic compounds, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones and are quite similar in both sexes. With the onset of breeding, the volatile profiles of males and females become distinct, with a number of female‐specific compounds occurring. An analysis of the anal secretions reveals the presence of some of the compounds previously detected in the headspace analysis. The specific chemical properties suggest that some of the volatiles may function against competitors and parasites, such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes and arthropods at the carcass breeding resource. By contrast, the emission of 4‐methyl branched esters by the females closely parallels the emission of the terpenoid methyl geranate and they may function together as a complex signal by the females. Signalling traits associated with biparental care and specific constraints associated with the ephemeral nature of the breeding resource may explain the occurrence of both groups of compounds in the volatile profiles.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147460
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 11:45
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 11:45
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48357