Behavioural control of black tinder beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus (Tenebrionidae) by its defense secretion and host volatiles

The Black Tinder Fungus Beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus is a well studied organism, especially a model for landscape fragmentation effects on deadwood insects.The big fungivorus beetle feeds all life long exclusively on sporocarps of the bracket fungus (Fomes fomentarius). Although B. reticulatus is long-living and a good flyer, genetic isolation occurs in fragmented landscapes. This obscurity led us to study cause and effect of semiochemicals, triggering intraspecific communication and host recognition in B. reticulatus.
We analysed the volatile production and beetle colonisation of fruiting bodies during development as well as the contents of defensive glands of B. reticulatus and now test the examined mayor compounds on their behavioural impact in walking bioassays.

Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Sergio Angeli, University of Bozen, Italy.