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Title: New data on aggressive behavior of Donaciines (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Donaciinae)

item Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex

Submitted to: Advances of Contemporary Biology and Biological Education
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2002
Publication Date: 12/20/2002
Citation: Konstantinov, A.S. 2002. New data on aggressive behavior of Donaciines (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Donaciinae). Advances of Contemporary Biology and Biological Education. 1(1):74-79.

Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles are among the most agriculturally important insects to the US. Many are serious pests feeding on crops and destroying valuable plants; others are important biological control agents that can be used to control noxious weeds. However, the biology of leaf beetles, particularly their behavior is poorly known. This paper describes a previously unknown kind of mating behavior of males for the leaf beetle, Donacia crassipes. It illustrates particular combat techniques used by males and provide possible explanation for morphological features of these beetles associated with gender. This study will be useful to entomologists, taxonomists, ecologists, and anyone interested in beetle behavior.

Technical Abstract: A previously unknown aggressive component of mating behavior of Donacia crassipes F. is described and illustrated. Male fights were observed in June, July, and August from 1980 to 1982 on the Unecha river in southwestern Russia. During the fights the following fighting techniques are employed: opponents scare each other with their fast moving hind legs, wings, and elytra; opponents hit each other with their raised hind legs; and opponents push each other with the apices of their abdomens, leaning with all their legs on the leaf surface. During this last phase of the fight, the hind legs take a position which seems hardly possible anatomically.