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Anatomy of the stridulation apparatus of the beech leaf‐mining weevil and characterization of, and behavioral responses to, stridulation sounds

Goodwin, Joel T.L., Hillier, N. Kirk, Roscoe, Lucas E., Sweeney, Jon D.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2019 v.167 no.11 pp. 957-968
Curculionidae, Fagus sylvatica subsp. sylvatica, abdomen, asymmetry, distress, females, herbivores, males, stridulation, surveys, Nova Scotia
We investigated auditory signals and morphology of the stridulatory apparatus of the European beech leaf‐mining weevil, Orchestes fagi L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), an invasive herbivore now established in Nova Scotia, Canada, to determine their potential for enhancing survey tools to monitor the spread of the species in Canada. We recorded and described sounds produced by adult O. fagi, analyzed the morphology of the stridulatory mechanism for intersexual differences and asymmetry, and examined behavioral responses elicited in conspecifics by playback of stridulation recordings. Adult O. fagi produced sounds under three conditions: male in distress, female in distress, and male in the presence of female. Female distress chirps lasted significantly longer than male distress chirps and male chirps in the presence of females, but peak frequencies and mean number of chirps per s did not differ significantly among the three groups. Morphology of the stridulation structures in male and female O. fagi was compared using scanning electron microscopy. Orchestes fagi have an elytro‐tergal file‐ and scraper‐type sound production apparatus, through which sound is produced upon anterior motion of the abdomen. Female O. fagi have a ‘pars stridens’ that is longer and has more ridges than males. Width and number of ridges per length of pars stridens did not differ between the sexes. Evidence of asymmetry was found in male pars stridens, with the right side being longer than the left. Playback of recorded sounds to adult weevils suggests female O. fagi were repelled by sounds produced by distressed males.