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Article

The Attraction of the Dung Beetle Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) to Volatiles from Vertebrate Cadavers

1
Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics, University of Ulm, 89069 Ulm, Germany
2
Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
3
Department of Visitor Management and National Park Monitoring, Bavarian Forest National Park, 94481 Grafenau, Germany
4
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
5
Department of Evolutionary Animal Ecology, University of Bayreuth, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(8), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080476
Received: 7 July 2020 / Revised: 24 July 2020 / Accepted: 24 July 2020 / Published: 27 July 2020
During decomposition, vertebrate carrion emits volatile organic compounds to which insects and other scavengers are attracted. We have previously found that the dung beetle, Anoplotrupes stercorosus, is the most common dung beetle found on vertebrate cadavers. Our aim in this study was to identify volatile key compounds emitted from carrion and used by A. stercorosus to locate this nutritive resource. By collecting cadaveric volatiles and performing electroantennographic detection, we tested which compounds A. stercorosus perceived in the post-bloating decomposition stage. Receptors in the antennae of A. stercorosus responded to 24 volatiles in odor bouquets from post-bloating decay. Subsequently, we produced a synthetic cadaver odor bouquet consisting of six compounds (benzaldehyde, DMTS, 3-octanone, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-ol, nonanal, dodecane) perceived by the beetles and used various blends to attract A. stercorosus in German forests. In field assays, these beetles were attracted to a blend of DMTS, 3-octanone, and benzaldehyde. Generalist feeding behavior might lead to the super-dominant occurrence of A. stercorosus in temperate European forests and have a potentially large impact on the exploitation and rapid turnover of temporally limited resources such as vertebrate cadavers. View Full-Text
Keywords: carrion decomposition; piglet cadaver; volatile organic compounds (VOCs); insect attraction; GC-EAD; synthetic cadaver volatiles carrion decomposition; piglet cadaver; volatile organic compounds (VOCs); insect attraction; GC-EAD; synthetic cadaver volatiles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Weithmann, S.; von Hoermann, C.; Schmitt, T.; Steiger, S.; Ayasse, M. The Attraction of the Dung Beetle Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) to Volatiles from Vertebrate Cadavers. Insects 2020, 11, 476. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080476

AMA Style

Weithmann S, von Hoermann C, Schmitt T, Steiger S, Ayasse M. The Attraction of the Dung Beetle Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) to Volatiles from Vertebrate Cadavers. Insects. 2020; 11(8):476. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080476

Chicago/Turabian Style

Weithmann, Sandra; von Hoermann, Christian; Schmitt, Thomas; Steiger, Sandra; Ayasse, Manfred. 2020. "The Attraction of the Dung Beetle Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) to Volatiles from Vertebrate Cadavers" Insects 11, no. 8: 476. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080476

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