Defensive displays and chemical secretions of darkling beetles in the Mojave Desert

Tania Aguilar, , Meghan Proctor & Athena Schlereth
Many organisms often rely on chemical defenses to deter predators. However, the way in which invertebrates utilize chemical defenses has been relatively understudied. Darkling beetle species of the Eleodes and Coelocnemis genera exhibit defensive posturing followed by malodorous chemical secretions to signal their unpalatability towards potential predators. However, the metabolic costs and trade-offs associated with these mechanisms are unknown. It is also unclear whether certain beetle species utilize chemical defenses more readily than others. We...
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