Most ciids (Ciidae) are strict fungivores specialized on fruit bodies of wood-rotting fungi. The Ciidae includes both specialist and generalist species. Recent evidence suggests that ciids locate and discriminate their potential hosts based mainly on fungal odours. In this study, we investigated the field distribution of ciids in a local woodland near Bath, U.K. We also evaluated experimentally the behavioural responses of ciids to host and non-host fungi in an olfactometer, and explored potential differences in putative aroma compounds in host fungi. Our field data showed that Octotemnus glabriculus, Cis boleti and Cis nitidus have preference for one host species. whereas C. bilamellatus has no preference. The experimental evidence was in accordance with the held observations. The specialists O. glabriculus, C. boleti and C. nitidus were specifically attracted to odour compounds of their preferred host fungi: Coriolus versicolor for the first two beetles and Ganoderma adspersum for the latter one. By contrast, the generalist C. bilamellatus was attracted to odours from C. versicolor, G. adspersum and Piptoporus betulinus. The evidence from this and other published studies suggest that ciids depend mainly on fruit body odours for location and discrimination of their host fungi. In accordance with this, we observed differential behavioural responses of ciids to aroma compounds of host and non-host species.
Guevara, R., Rayner, A. D. M., & Reynolds, S. E. (2000). Orientation of specialist and generalist fungivorous ciid beetles to host and non-host odours. Physiological Entomology, 25(3), 288-295. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3032.2000.00194.x