Spray mechanism of crepidogastrine bombardier beetles (Carabidae; Crepidogastrini)

Abstract

The defensive glandular apparatus of primitive bombardier beetles of the tribe Crepidogastrini (Carabidae) is described for the first time. As exemplified by two African species (Crepidogaster ambreana and C. atrata), the apparatus conforms to the basic bombardier plan, in that the glands are bicompartmented and the secretion is quinonoid (it contains 1,4-benzoquinones and hydrocarbons), hot, and discharged audibly. In a number of morphological respects the crepidogastrine apparatus resembles that of the classical bombardiers of the tribe Brachinini (rather than that of bombardiers of the paussoid lineage), reinforcing the view, already held on taxonomic grounds, that the Crepidogastrini and Brachinini are closely related. That the Crepidogastrini may be primitive relative to Brachinini is underscored by the finding that, unlike brachinines, crepidogastrines do not pulse their secretory emissions. Moreover, they discharge their secretion as a mist, rather than forcibly in the form of jets.

DOI: 10.1007/PL00001853

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Cite this paper

@article{Eisner2001SprayMO, title={Spray mechanism of crepidogastrine bombardier beetles (Carabidae; Crepidogastrini)}, author={Thomas Eisner and Daniel J. Aneshansley and Jayne Yack and Athula B. Attygalle and Maria Eisner}, journal={CHEMOECOLOGY}, year={2001}, volume={11}, pages={209-219} }