Biology: Ambrosiakäfer Keep beer glasses for trees

Biologists found out that the little wood beetles are looking for alcohol-producing trees to breed. They accidentally land in beer and wine glasses.

Biology: Ambrosiakäfer Keep beer glasses for trees

Especially in spring, Ambrosiakäfer often land in beer and wine glasses. Researchers have now probably found reason: beetles can be guided by smell of alcohol in search of a breeding site. Scientists from Germany and USA report today in journal PNAS (Ranger et al., 2018).

The beetles prefer strains of old, dying trees that produce alcohol to protect against pests. They "smell alcohol with ir antennas and deliberately fly dying trees", explains Peter Biedermeier, one of study authors, from Biocenter of University of Würzburg. "They actually hold beer glass for a tree."

Especially in May and June, small, brown-coloured beetles attack both needle and deciduous trees and drill up to three centimeters deep into wood. There y set up ir living room, where y breed a mushroom garden of Ambrosiapilz to feed ir larvae. The spores for Ambrosiapilz bring females into ir stomachs. According to researchers, Mushroom gardens thrive best at an alcohol concentration of two percent. The Ambrosiapilz is toxic to some or fungal species and micro-organisms and refore displaces m.

Mushroom gardens thrive best at alcohol concentration of two percent

The Ambrosiakäfer, which is about two to three millimeters long, which includes, for example, black wooden bark beetle (Xylosandrus germanus) and small wood beetle (Xyleborinus saxeseni), originally originated in East Asia. In 1930s he came to United States and later to Europe. Meanwhile, species has spread widely in Germany.

The scientists do not know wher beetles are permanently intoxicated by alcohol of dying trees. "That would be more interesting to clarify. But I don't think so. I think beetle has learned to deal with it, "said Biedermeier.

Date Of Update: 10 April 2018, 12:03

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