Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Los efectos de Xanthosoma spp. (Araceae) en la temperatura, el olor, y las flores de frecuencia de apareamiento de Cyclocephala sexpunctata (Scarabaeidae)



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Publication Date

May 2009


Many pollinators have evolved very specified obligate mutualisms with the plants that they pollinate. One example of this kind of mutualism, in which the reproduction of both organisms relies on their relationship, is Xanthosoma spp. and Cyclocephala sexpunctata in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Xanthosoma spp. thermoregulate, attracting beetles because of a combination of heat, scent, and visual components of the inflorescence. The beetles crawl inside of the spathe and spadix inflorescence, where they both eat and mate. The specific stimuli that prompt the beetles to mate once inside the flower had not yet been widely examined. Through my experiments, I found that heat was the only factor that had a significant positive affect on mating frequency, as well as on the level of activity exhibited by beetles. The presence of flowers and the presence of scent did not have significant affects on mating frequency or activity. In addition, I was able to estimate that in a patch of 214 mature Xanthosoma spp., the population of males was about 200.6 individuals. About half as many females were captured, but an accurate estimate of female population could not be calculated because they were either not always present in inflorescences or they traveled farther to different patches more often than did males. These results add to a relatively small body of knowledge concerning this fascinating relationship between Araceae plants and their Scarabaeidae pollinators, and are important to understanding complex reproductive mutualisms.


Varios polinizadores han evolucionado mutualismos obligados de forma muy específica con las plantas que ellos polinizan. Un ejemplo de esta clase de mutualismo, en el cual la reproducción de ambos organismos depende de esta relación es entre Xanthosoma spp. y Cyclocephala sexpunctata en Monteverde, Costa Rica. Xanthosoma spp. termo regula, atrayendo a los escarabajos debido a una combinación de calor, olor, y los componentes visuales de la inflorescencia.


Araceae--Pollen, Scarabaeidae, CIEE Spring 2009

Palabras claves

Arácea--Polen, CIEE Primavera 2009


10 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





The effects of Xanthosoma spp. (Araceae) temperature, scent, and flowers on the mating frequency of Cyclocephala sexpunctata (Scarabaeidae), May 2009



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