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Aposematic Aggregation of a Bug (Hemiptea: Coreidae): The Defensive Display and Formation of Aggregations

J. R. Aldrich and M. S. Blum
Biotropica
Vol. 10, No. 1 (Mar., 1978), pp. 58-61
DOI: 10.2307/2388106
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388106
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

Immature coreid bugs, probably Thasus acutangulus, form aposematic feeding aggregations on twigs of the legume tree, Pithecellobium dulce, during the dry season in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Nymphs are bright orange, yellow, and black, and, if disturbed, individuals of the aggregation pulsate, spray jets of anal fluid into the air, and exude a defensive secretion over the abdominal terga. An aggregation pheromone, perceived by receptors on the distal segment of each antenna, enables bugs displaced from aggregations to reaggregate. Alarm behavior was never observed when an open bottle of (E)-2-hexenal was held below an aggregation; only mechanical disturbance released the aposematic display. Adults of T. acutangulus are migratory and conspicuously large, but are not aposematically colored.

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