Translator Disclaimer
1 January 2015 Development of a Nondestructive Method for Sexing Live Adult Sternoplax souvorowiana (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
Author Affiliations +

The darkling beetle, Sternoplax souvorowiana (Reitter) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), is flightless and lives in the Guerbantonggut desert in northwestern China. Its special eggshell structure, day-active habit, large body size, short life cycle, and ease of rearing under laboratory conditions make it an excellent model for advanced studies on desert adaptation. Determining the sex of this beetle is usually complicated by the lack of a discreet, externally visible gender-specific character. To date, dissection has been used for sex identification in this species, whereas a nondestructive means is needed for further studies of sexual dimorphism. Here, a new method based on the difference of the pigmentation pattern on the eighth tergite of each sex is described and illustrated. This method can be quickly learned, is nondestructive, is 100% accurate, and is fast enough for most applications in both the field and the laboratory. Experienced users in our laboratory routinely sex 8–10 beetles per minute.

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
Yan Wang, Ji Ma, and Xinfang Mao "Development of a Nondestructive Method for Sexing Live Adult Sternoplax souvorowiana (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)," Journal of Insect Science 15(1), 1-5, (1 January 2015).
Received: 16 February 2013; Accepted: 4 June 2013; Published: 1 January 2015

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Get copyright permission
Back to Top