|Forked fungus beetle|
|A pair of Bolitotherus cornutus in copula, attacked by a second male.|
|A scene from the video. The large male on the right attacks the smaller male on top of the female.|
Bolitotherus cornutus is the scientific name of a species of darkling beetle that is also known under the vernacular name forked fungus beetle. As a holometabolic insect, its life cycle includes four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Adults are sexually dimorphic with respect to the presence of horns. Males use their two sets of horns, clypeal and thoracic, to compete for mates. Unlike many species of scarab beetles that exhibit male dimorphism for horns with major and minor morphs, male B. cornutus possess a continuous range of horn and body sizes. Bolitotherus cornutus perform reproductive behaviors on the surface of polypore shelf fungus growing on dead wood. Mating pairs engage in a courtship ritual in which the male grips the female's elytra, with his thorax over the end of her abdomen. Courtship often lasts several hours, and is a necessary precursor to copulation. During a copulation attempt, the male reverses position on top of the female so that both individuals point the same direction and their abdomens are aligned. If the courtship is successful, the female opens her anal sternite and copulation takes place. Following copulation, the male remains on top, facing the same direction as the female, and mate-guards her. The male remains in this position for several hours, preventing other males from courting the female.
- This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose:
Benowitz, K. M.; Brodie, E. D.; Formica, V. A. (2012). Proulx, Stephen R, ed. "Morphological Correlates of a Combat Performance Trait in the Forked Fungus Beetle, Bolitotherus cornutus". PLoS ONE 7 (8): e42738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042738. PMC 3419742. PMID 22916153. Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.
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