<i>Hylotrupes bajulus</i> (L.) (Col., Cerambycidae): nutrition and attacked material

  • E. Chiappini Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy E-mail: elisabetta.chiappini@unicatt.it
  • P. Molinari Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
  • M. Busconi Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
  • M. Callegari Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
  • C. Fogher Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
  • P. Bani Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy

Abstract

Hylotrupes bajulus, attacks softwood utilising the cellulose contained in wood walls as food. The fibre is digested in variable percentages, depending on the type of analysis, 20 to 48% and, according to some authors, without the assistance of intestinal symbiotic microorganisms. Furthermore, there is published work referring to Hylotrupes, concluding that "starch” … “plays no role in the nutrition of the larvae". Nevertheless, considering that attacks of this species decrease with wood seasoning increasing and having been demonstrated, and that “lignin degradation products of spruce wood do not influence larvae development”, it is possible to suppose that cell walls alone are not sufficient to feed this wood boring species. Furthermore, Hylotrupes larvae have chisel shaped mandibles, similar to those of powder post beetle larvae that feed on starch and need to pulverise the wood to access the cellular content. Preliminary research suggests an utilization of wood fibre as well as of starch by larvae of H. bajulus. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to test the degree of digestion of wood fibre from different sources (sapwood or heartwood) and the possible role of symbiotic microorganisms. Larvae of H. bajulus were grown on synthetic diets made of purified wood fibre and/or starch as main components supplied with mineral and vitamin. Substrates and frass were analysed for fibre fractions, starch and acid insoluble ash, the latter used as an indigestible marker. Larvae purified DNA was analysed by means of metagenomics approaches carried out by direct retrieval and analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences free of cultural bias in order to discover the bacterial diversity from larva alimentary channel alone. Larvae of H. bajulus seem be able to digest either fibre or starch, and a role for symbiotic bacteria is supposed. Keywords: Cellulose, Starch, Frass, Mouth apparatus, Mandible
Veröffentlicht
2010-09-02