Arousal from death feigning by vibrational stimuli: comparison of Tribolium species

Ryo Ishihara, Kentarou Matsumura, Jordan Elouise Jones, Ji Yuhao, Ryusuke Fujisawa, Naohisa Nagaya, Takahisa Miyatake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Death feigning (or tonic immobility) is an effective antipredator strategy. However, prolonged immobility on the ground increases the risk of being parasitized or eaten by predators, and thus, insects must rouse themselves when appropriate stimulation is provided. Very few studies on the effect of stimulus intensity on arousal from death feigning have been conducted. A previous study using Tribolium castaneum showed an existing threshold for the intensity of the stimulus that causes arousal from death feigning. Whether there are differences between species in the threshold for arousal is an interesting question. In the present study, we, therefore, compared the effect of stimulus strength on arousal from death feigning in two closely related species, namely, T. confusum and T. freemani, which are established strains that have been artificially selected for longer duration of death feigning. Also, part of the study was to determine whether there was a positive association between intensity of stimulus needed to rouse and the duration of death feigning. We discuss why there is a difference in the strength of the stimulus needed for arousal from death feigning among Tribolium species, for which we included the data for T. castaneum from a previous study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Beetle
  • Death feigning
  • Selection experiment
  • Species comparison
  • Thanatosis
  • Tonic immobility
  • Tribolium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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