Male pioneering as a mating strategy: The case of the beetle Maladera matrida

Ally R. Harari, David Ben-Yakir, David Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The phenomenon of male pioneering, whereby males are active (daily) before females, is compared with protandry, a phenomenon whereby males are sexually matured before females. The effects of natural selection and sexual selection on both phenomena are discussed. 2. In Maladera matrida Argaman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), males emerged from the soil a few minutes before females, every evening, to feed and mate. 3. Aggregations of males and females are formed at sites of plant damage where males initiated feeding. 4. All copulations were initiated at the beginning of the activity period so males that emerge earlier may increase their probability of finding a mate. 5. Females mate only once in an evening. 6. Males that emerge later may not find receptive females with which to mate. 7. The aggregation of beetles per se did not contribute to the individual mating success because it occurred during and after the copulating had begun. 8. Male pioneering may evolve through sexual selection by means of male-male competition in time to achieve receptive females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Coleoptera
  • Male pioneering
  • Mating behaviour
  • Plant volatiles
  • Reproductive success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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