Aggregation pheromone interrupts death feigning in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum



Death feigning is a behavior in which a prey is rendered motionless due to stimulation or threat by a predator. This anti-predator defense mechanism has been observed across a wide range of animal taxa and is considered adaptive. However, long durations of death feigning can decrease opportunities for feeding and reproduction, and therefore is a fitness cost as compared to environments without predators. Because death feigning is thought to be affected by the balance between survival and other fitness costs, selection pressure may drive individuals who are capable of plastic changes in the intensity of death feigning. Pheromones, which are important semiochemicals that affect foraging and reproductive success, may be one of the factors influencing the intensity of death-feigning behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of an aggregation pheromone on the death-feigning behavior of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. We found that beetles exposed to the pheromone showed a significantly shorter duration of death feigning than beetles that were not exposed to the pheromone. Therefore, our results suggest that an aggregation pheromone can plasticly alter the death-feigning behavior in T. castaneum.

ジャーナルJournal of Ethology
出版ステータスPublished - 1月 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 生態、進化、行動および分類学
  • 動物科学および動物学


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