Anti-predator behaviour depends on male weapon size: Tonic immobility and weapon size

Kentarou Matsumura, Kota Yumise, Yui Fujii, Toma Hayashi, Takahisa Miyatake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Tonic immobility and escape are adaptive anti-predator tactics used by many animals. Escape requires movement, whereas tonic immobility does not. If anti-predator tactics relate to weapon size, males with larger weapons may adopt tonic immobility, whereas males with smaller weapons may adopt escape. However, no study has investigated the relationship between weapon size and anti-predator tactics. In this study, we investigated the relationship between male weapon size and tonic immobility in the beetle Gnathocerus cornutus. The results showed that tonic immobility was more frequent in males with larger weapons. Although most studies of tonic immobility in beetles have focused on the duration, rather than the frequency, tonic immobility duration was not affected by weapon size in G. cornutus. Therefore, this study is the first, to our knowledge, to suggest that the male weapon trait affects anti-predator tactics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberl20200601
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Gnathocerus cornutus
  • anti-predator strategy
  • mating strategy
  • tonic immobility
  • weapon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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