Resource defence of a beetle
Ressourcenverteidigung bei einem Rosenkäfer
back to Seibt
In a laborious undertaking, either sex of the rose chafer Tephraea dichroa opens stems of Solanum panduraeforme, working with tiny bites through the plant's epidermis to reach the sieve-tube tissue where it then feeds on phloëmic sap. Such a feeding place may be occupied by its owner for several days. Being a valuable resource, it is hotly contested and has to be defended time and again against newcomers. Fighting mainly consists of headpushing, representing an original fight type from which elaborate fights of horn bearing cetoniids are derived.

Tephraea fighting over a feeding place, demonstrating also the sexual colour dimorphism: female above, male below
© Wickler

Wickler, Wolfgang & Seibt, Uta 1982: The rose chafer Tephraea dichroa and its plant, Solanum panduraeforme. Zoologische Beiträge Neue Folge 28, 87-98.