Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


Because mating may be costly, sexually active males or females are predicted to be in relatively good physiological condition and may preferentially direct their mating behavior toward relatively high-quality mates. We tested this hypothesis in Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica Newman), a pest species in which males and females may be either isolated or in aggregations while feeding on host plants. We examined male size and lipid content and female size and egg load with respect to both their pairing status and whether they were isolated or in aggregations. Males that were paired had the highest lipid levels, and single, isolated males had the lowest. Paired females had the highest egg loads and single, isolated females had the lowest. Neither male nor female size was related to pairing status. Females captured during the times of relatively high pairing frequency (i.e., morning and evening) had higher egg loads than females captured at times of lower pairing frequency (i.e., afternoon). These results suggest that mating and aggregative behaviors in Japanese beetles are dependent on the physiological status of males and the reproductive condition of females.