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Psyche
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 201769, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/201769
Research Article

Defensive Glands of the Darkling Beetle Mesomorphus villiger Blanchard (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Postgraduate & Research Department of Zoology, St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, Calicut, Kerala 673008, India

Received 6 November 2012; Revised 23 March 2013; Accepted 13 May 2013

Academic Editor: Jan Klimaszewski

Copyright © 2013 C. M. Seena and Sabu K. Thomas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Massive home invasion by the darkling beetle Mesomorphus villiger Blanchard 1853 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) during monsoon season make it a nuisance pest in many regions of south India. Morphology of defensive glands and mode of release and dispersal of the defensive secretion were analysed. Defensive glands were separated from the abdominal sternites by cutting along the posterior margin of the seventh sternite. Glands are evaginations of intersegmental membrane between the seventh and eighth sternites consisting of two long sac-like reservoirs, and glandular secretion is released by exudation and spread through epipleural gutter of elytra. Gradual release of the secretion is a strategy to repel the predators for a longer duration.