Observations on the Metasternal Scent Glands of Lethocerus spp. (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1970
Authors:G. PATTENDEN, Staddon B. W.
Journal:Annals of the Entomological Society of America

The aim of this report is to draw attention to a hitherto undescribed sexual dimorphism in the metasternal scent glands of <I>Lethocerus</I> species and to present evidence that the secretion of the glands is probably neither sex- nor species-specific. Neither Leidy (1847), who described the metasternal scent glands of <I>L. griseus</I> (Say) (Menke 1963), nor Locy (1884), who described the scent glands of an undetermined species of <I>Lethocerus</I>, drew attention to a sexual difference in the dimensions of the glands. On the other hand, Butenandt (1955), and Butenandt and Tain (1957), who investigated the chemistry of the secretion of the metasternal scent glands of males of <I>L. indicus</I> (Le Peletier &#38; Serville) (Menke 1960) and showed the secretion largely to comprise <I>trans</I>-hex-2-enyl acetate, claimed that the secretion from this species was sex-specific, was produced by the males alone, and advanced the possibility that it had a sexual function as an attractant or as a stimulant.

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