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Pygidial secretions ofPasimachus subsulcatus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) deter predation byEumeces inexpectatus (Squamata: Scincidae)

, : Pygidial secretions ofPasimachus subsulcatus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) deter predation byEumeces inexpectatus (Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 15(3): 1033-1044

The carabid beetlePasimachus subsulcatus is an abundant ground-dwelling insect in west central Florida that exudes a powerful mucous membrane irritant when disturbed. This secretion can be sprayed over 10 cm from the abdominal tip. The southeastern five-lined skink,Eumeces inexpectatus, is an abundant insectivorous lizard sympatric withPasimachus. We assessed the availability ofPasimachus toEumeces and found it to be within the foraging microenvironment of the lizard. Analysis ofEumeces gut contents and field feeding trials indicate thatPasimachus are not ingested by the lizard, yet arthropods of comparable size and exoskeletal thickness are ingested. The movement response ofEumeces to isolatedPasimachus secretion constituents, conducted in a modified Y-maze laboratory experiment, was used to assess the repellent capabilities of the secretion.Eumeces are consistently repelled byPasimachus secretion constituents, indicating that the beetle is protected chemically from the lizard.


PMID: 24271904

DOI: 10.1007/BF01015197

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