Micro- and nanoscopic observations of sexual dimorphisms in Mecynorhina polyphemus confluens (Kraatz, 1890) (Coleoptera, Cetoniidae, Goliathini) and consequences for surface wettability

Olivier Montreuil, Christophe Candet, Alexandre Bonaccorso, Caroline R. Szczepanski, François Orange, René Paul Godeau, Frédéric Guittard, Thierry Darmanin, Guilhem Godeau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the animal kingdom, macroscopic variations in size, color, and even hairiness are frequently observed between male and female, making the sex of various species easy to discern. In the case of insects, similar variances also exist. While direct observation is a quick and efficient way to differentiate between sexes, there are also variations which are unseen to the naked eye and occur on a micro- or nanoscopic scale. Sometimes, these micro/nanoscopic variations can lead to significant variations in surface properties as a function of sex. Such is the case for the Mecynorhina polyphemus confluens (Kraatz, 1890). In this work, we characterize these micro- and nanoscale differences, and describe their impact on the surface properties (e.g. wettability). It is found that water interacts quite differently with the surface of the cuticle of Mecynorhina polyphenus confluens, depending on the specimen sex. On a female, water spreads readily across the elytra indicating hydrophilic behavior. However, on the surface of the male elytra, strong hydrophobicity is observed. Microscopic observations reveal differences in microscale surface morphology across the male and female cuticle. These observations contribute to a better, global understanding of the wettability behavior observed on M. polyphemus confluens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalArthropod Structure and Development
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Mecynorhina
  • Nanostructured surfaces
  • Natural surface
  • Sexual dimorphisms
  • Wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Insect Science

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