Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1689–1697

Defensive secretion of the carabid beetlePasimachus subsulcatus


  • Bradley S. Davidson
    • Department of ChemistryCornell University
  • Thomas Eisner
    • Section of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell University
  • Brian Witz
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
  • Jerrold Meinwald
    • Department of ChemistryCornell University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01012258

Cite this article as:
Davidson, B.S., Eisner, T., Witz, B. et al. J Chem Ecol (1989) 15: 1689. doi:10.1007/BF01012258


The defensive secretion of the carabid beetlePasimachus subsulcatus is a concentrated solution (up to 90%) of carboxylic acids, amounting to about 1% of body mass. It contains three major components (methacrylic, tiglic, and angelic acids) and four minor components (isobutyric, 2-methyl-butyric, isovaleric, and senecioic acids). In the single population of this large flightless beetle that was examined, the relative ratio of acidic components was remarkably constant from individual to individual.

Key words

Defensive secretionaliphatic acidsbeetleColeopteraCarabidaePasimachus subsulcatuscarboxylic acids
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989