Ground beetles (Carabidae) are recognized for their diverse, chemically-mediated defensive behaviors. Produced using a pair of pygidial glands, over 250 chemical constituents have been characterized across the family thus far, many of which are considered allomones. Over the past century, our knowledge of Carabidae exocrine chemistry has increased substantially, yet the role of these defensive compounds in mediating behavior other than repelling predators is largely unknown. It is also unclear whether non-defensive compounds produced by ground beetles mediate conspecific and heterospecific interactions, such as sex-aggregation pheromones or kairomones, respectively. Here we review the current state of non-exocrine Carabidae semiochemistry and behavioral research, discuss the importance of semiochemical research including but not limited to allomones, and describe next-generation methods for elucidating the underlying genetics and evolution of chemically-mediated behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics