Mating behaviour of Staminodeus vectoris (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and the value of systematics in behavioural studies

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18 Scopus citations


The mating behaviour of Staminodeus vectoris Franz (Curculionidae: Curculioninae: Derelomini) is described and discussed in light of a phylogeny of Staminodeus Franz. At La Selva, Costa Rica, S. vectoris is associated with the staminodes of the inflorescences of Asplundia uncinata Harling and several other species of Cyclanthaceae. The males have a row of 6-10 teeth along the margin of the protibia, whereas the females have a small, curved spine on the frons. The adults arrive in numbers at the inflorescences during the pistillate phase of the anthesis of A. uncinata, feeding on the staminodes. Eventually, a female detaches a staminode with her mandibles, falls to the ground, and transports it to the site of oviposition in the leaf litter. First, she crawls underneath the staminode, then moves it posteriorly with her legs, and finally returns to its distal end before repeating the process. The female turns on her back and maintains her original position during the movement of the staminode, using her frontal spine as a point of resistance against the substrate. Meanwhile, a male associates with the staminode. The males fight with their prothoracic legs, executing fast blows until their protibial teeth cling and dislodge competitors from the staminode. The positive and negative allometries of the lengths of the male protibia and female spine, are consistent with their functions in the contexts of sexual and natural selection, respectively. The phylogeny of all seven species of Staminodeus hypothesises that female transporting behaviour evolved before male fighting behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1727-1750
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 20 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Beetle horns
  • Cyclanthaceae
  • Derelomini
  • Mating behaviour
  • Morphology
  • Sexual selection
  • Systematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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