Prior to the fungistasis experiments, the laboratory-reared adult beetles were fed twice a week with freshly decapitated Tenebrio molitor or cut sections of Zophobas morio.
The fungistasis on the washed carcass balls (n = 18) was not significantly different than that of the control carcasses (Fisher exact test: P = 0.08), and the fungistasis on the protected carcass balls (n = 16) was not significantly different than that of the large protected carcass balls (n = 17; Fisher exact test: P = 0.68; Figure 1).
Effects of Beetle Sexual Maturity on Fungistasis. After cultivation for 7 days, 192.56 [+ or -] 70.41 colonies of Trichoderma sp.
Thus, although the anal secretions from sexually mature beetles inhibited the growth of Trichoderma sp., the number of days required for fungal growth to reach confluency was significantly longer for inoculums containing mature female anal secretions than those produced from mature males (independent sample Student's t test: P < 0.001, sexually mature male: n = 16, sexually mature female: n = 15), which is considered a better fungistasis from mature females.
In our study, fungistasis was most efficient when a breeding pair of beetles remained present with the carcass.