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CHEMOECOLOGY

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 25–28 | Cite as

Use of defensive glands during mating in a cockroach (Diploptera punctata)

  • Robert Wyttenbach
  • Thomas Eisner

Summary.

The female of the cockroach, Diploptera punctata, mates immediately after the last molt, when she is still teneral. In this condition, her quinone-producing defensive glands are empty and she is potentially vulnerable to predation. By mating with fully sclerotized males whose glands are functional, she may benefit, indirectly, from the protection provided by the male's own glandular discharges. However, while males do indeed eject their defensive spray when disturbed while mating, and as a rule tend to remain coupled to the female when disturbed, they spray only when they themselves are the target of the offense. Copulating males do not activate their defenses in response to disturbance of the female.

Key words. Courtship – altruism – chemical defense – benzoquinones – Blattaria 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Wyttenbach
    • 1
  • Thomas Eisner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, W347 Mudd Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USAUS

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