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Volume 103, Issue 1-2, Pages 55-84

Ritual Jousting by Horned Parisoschoenus expositus Weevils (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Baridinae)

1Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Escuela de Biologa, Universidad de Costa Rica Ciudad Universitaria, Costa Rica
2Apdo. 1179-2100, Guadalupe, San Jose, Costa Rica

Copyright © 2000 William G. Eberhard and J. Mauricio Garcia-C.


Males of the weevil Parisoschoenus expositus use their prothoracic horns as weapons in stylized battles with other males over females that are drilling oviposition holes in palm leaves. The unusual sheath-like structures that penetrate deep into the male prothorax function to receive the horns of opponents during battles. Horn size is dimorphic with respect to body size, and small and large males also differ behaviorally. Small males that have mated with a drilling female are sometimes able to impede a large male's access to the female until after she has oviposited, but they are not able to take over females from larger males.