Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 159–180 | Cite as

Chemical defense of a rove beetle (Creophilus maxillosus)

  • Martin Jefson
  • Jerrold Meinwald
  • Stephen Nowicki
  • Karen Hicks
  • Thomas Eisner


The abdominal defensive glands ofC. maxillosus secrete a mixture (70μg/beetle) of isoamyl alcohol (I), isoamyl acetate (II), iridodial (III), actinidine (IV), dihydronepetalactone (VE), and (E)-8-oxocitronellyl acetate (X). When disturbed, the beetle everts the glands and revolves the abdomen so as to wipe the glands against the offending agent. Fecal fluid is commonly emitted at the same time and may become added to the glandular material. Ants (Formica exsectoides) are effectively fended off by the beetle and were shown in bioassays (Monomorium destructor) to be repelled by the four major components of the secretion (II, III, X, VE); the principal component (VE) was the most active. Some anatomical features of the glands are described.

Key words

Coleoptera Staphylinidae Creophilus maxillosus defensive secretion ant repellent bioassay isoamyl acetate isoamyl alcohol iridodial actinidine dihydronepetalactone (E)-8-oxocitronellyl acetate 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Jefson
    • 1
  • Jerrold Meinwald
    • 1
  • Stephen Nowicki
    • 2
  • Karen Hicks
    • 2
  • Thomas Eisner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryCornell UniversityIthaca
  2. 2.Section of Neurobiology and Behavior Division of Biological SciencesCornell UniversityIthaca

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