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Volatile compounds released by disturbed and undisturbed adults of Anchomenus dorsalis (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Platynini) and structure of the pygidial gland

Author(s): Teresa Bonacci | Pietro Brandmayr | Tullia Zetto Brandmayr | Ida Daniela Perrotta | Salvatore Guarino | Ezio Peri | Stefano Colazza

Journal: ZooKeys
ISSN 1313-2989

Volume: 81;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: undecane | GC/MS | chemical defences | gland morphology | predation avoidance mechanisms

Volatile compounds produced by adults of Anchomenus dorsalis under undisturbed and disturbed conditions were investigated with an all-glass aeration apparatus. GC-MS analysis of the crude extracts from undisturbed and disturbed adults highlighted four major volatile compounds, undecane, heneicosane, Z-9 tricosene and tricosane, of which significantly more undecane was released by disturbed adults compared to undisturbed beetles. The pygidial glands of adults of A. dorsalis were investigated using light and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Each gland showed dense aggregates of secretory cells organized into visually distinct lobes; a long collecting canal that drains the secretion towards the reservoir, a bean-shaped double lobed muscular reservoir in which secretion is stored and a short duct (efferent duct) through which the secretion is discharged. The function of the pygidial glands and the possible role played by undecane as a defensive allomone and/or chemical signalling molecule are discussed.
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