Chemical defense of insect – pheropsophus hilaris (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

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Author: 
Iyyappan, V., Ramesh Kumar, T. and Nagarajan, D.
Abstract: 

Insect make up the largest and most diverse group of organisms on earth, contributing to as much as 80 – 90 % of the world’s biodiversity. Approximately 950,000 species of insects have been described, some estimate there are 4,000 000 species in total. Over 70 % of drugs on the market are derived from natural compounds, however, insect are one of the least explored groups in drug discovery. A large portion of animals on earth, particularly insects, utilize chemicals as their primary tools of warfare and defense. Various strategies such as chemical defense or mimicry have evolved that protect insects from predators. Most defensive chemical in beetles are odoriferous and repugnant to humans and other animals. This pheropsophus hilaris is called a ‘bombardier’ because it ejects a hot, highly noxious spray of aqueous benzoquinones, oxygen and steam as a defense mechanisms against would be predators.

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