The function of multiple and anti predator mechanisms in adult tiger beetles cicindela spp coleoptera cicindelidae

Pearson, D.L.

Ecological Entomology 10(1): 65-72


ISSN/ISBN: 0307-6946
Accession: 006680402

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Preator avoidance mechanisms of adult tiger beetles (Cicindela spp.) were investigated in the Sulphur Springs Valley of southeastern Arizona, USA. The predators were robber flies, lizards and birds. Effective antipredator characters included body size, orange abdomens, defence chemicals, flight and gregariousness. The number of these 5 major antipredator mechanisms exhibited by each tiger beetle species varied with habitat. The function and number of antipredator mechanisms was a complex interaction of deterrents; some were effective only in combination and some were characters that each deterred a different type of predator; in several cases the characters that reduced the probability of attack by one type of predator simultaneously increased the probability of attack by another type of predator.