Defensive adaptations and behaviour in Scymnodes lividigaster (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)



The Australian coccinellid Scymnodes lividigaster (Mulsant) makes use of elaborate and distinctive defensive adaptations and behaviour to protect itself from predators. These include a well developed larval and pupal armature, cryptic colouration, production of wax by larvae and pupae, production of a protective waxy smear surrounding the pupa, aggregation of larvae before pupation, and reflex bleeding. It is the only known coccinellid species in which the pupa has an armature of parascoli and strumae, produces large quantities of wax on dorsal and ventral surfaces, and is surrounded by a protective smear.