Chemical Ecology and Biochemistry of Dytiscidae

  • Konrad DettnerEmail author


The chapter deals with chemical mechanisms that help to control intra- and interspecific interactions with respect to predaceous diving beetles. Apart from chemical receptors and senses within Dytiscidae there are described intraspecific (pheromones) and especially interspecific interactions with respect to this water beetle family. The last group of behavioral modifying compounds includes kairomones and allomones. Allomone constituents from pygidial glands, prothoracic defensive glands, and pupal glands are completely compiled for a large group of predaceous diving beetles. With respect to the natural compounds, their chemistry, distribution within Hydradephaga, biological activities, and especially their significance for dytiscids are discussed. In addition, further secondary compounds from these beetles are presented, including epicuticular lipids or pigments that may be responsible for the coloration of the adult beetles and their larvae. Finally, the microorganisms and their secondary metabolites that are associated with predaceous diving beetles are presented. The described microorganisms range from culturable to non-culturable taxa.


Dytiscidae Chemical ecology Allomones Glands Secondary compounds 



In order to prepare this manuscript the help of following collaborators and colleagues is highly acknowledged: Dipl.-Biol. J. Baumgarten (Bayreuth), Dr. W. Boidol (Schering AG, Berlin), Prof. Dr. W. Boland (Jena), I. Cichon (Bayreuth), B. Dettner (Bayreuth), A. Falk (Bayreuth), Prof. Dr. H. P. Fiedler (Tübingen), Prof. Dr. W. Francke (Hamburg), PD Dr. F. Hebauer (Deggendorf), E. Helldörfer (Bayreuth), B. Hopstätter (Aachen), Dr. H. Jungnickel (Bayreuth), Dr. S. Kehl (Bayreuth), A. Kirpal (Bayreuth), Dipl.-Chem. P. Krastel (Göttingen), Dr. S. Küchler (Bayreuth), Dr. U. Lacher (Bayreuth), Dipl.-Biol. M. Langer (Bayreuth), A. Liehr (Bayreuth), H. Müller B. Sc. (Bayreuth), Dr. J. G. Müller (Tübingen), Dr. J. Rheinheimer (BASF, Ludwigshafen), Dr. O. Schaaf (Bayreuth), Dr. A. Schierling (Bayreuth), Dr. R. M. Schmidt (BASF, Ludwigshafen), A. Schneider B. Sc. (Bayreuth), Prof. Dr. M. Scriba (Aachen), S. Wagner (Bayreuth), Dr. B. Weber (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. A. Zeeck (Göttingen)

This paper is dedicated to the four honorable deceased water beetle specialists: Ecopioneer and Field Biologist Dr. Sepp Margraf (+26.01.2012, Xishuangbanna, China), Natural Product Chemist Prof. Dr. Hermann Schildknecht (+01.07.1996, Heidelberg, Germany), Taxonomist and Field Entomologist Dr. Michel Brancucci (+18.10.2012, Basel, Switzerland), and Field Entomologist Hans Schaeflein (+17.05.1994, Neutraubling, Germany).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Ecology IIUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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