BIO120H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Termite, Digestive Enzyme, Reduviidae

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17 Jun 2016

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BIO120 Lab Preparation
Lab date: September 17th, 2014
Chapter 1 Insect Diversity and Adaption
Nymph (immature) reduviid bugs (assassin bugs) display 2 features:
1. Cover their thorax with layer of dust, sand, soil particles to form “dust coat”
2. Attach dead insects to their thorax using elastic threads
Elastic threads produced by glands on their back, form backpack with dead insects
“Backpack” affects survival of bug
Brandt and Mahsberg article: Bugs with a backpack: the function of nymphal camouflage in the West
African assassin bugs Paredocla and Acanthaspis spp.
Nymph Assassin bugs disguise themselves with dust coat + backpack of larger objects (empty prey
corpses, plant parts on their abdomen).
Camouflage with ants (their main prey), hide from predators
Dust coat impede chemical recognition of nymphs by 3 ant species = ↑ hunting success
Backpack didn’t really help this
Backpack help nymphs camouflage from predators
oIf bug attacked, it sheds backpack to distract enemy, while bug escapes
5 stages of predation:
1. Detection
2. Identification
3. Approach
4. Subjugation
5. Consumption
Animals have antipredator strategies that interrupt this sequence
1. Minimize probability of detection
2. Eliminate recognition of an edible item
Adaptions help make animal cryptic to background
oCan decorate body with foreign material = antipredator adaption
oProtects against visually oriented predators
oSpider crabs, caddisflies, nymphs from Reduviddae family
Study Animals
Paredocla and Acanthaspis = predators of other arthropods
oKill prey by piercing it with rostrum, inject saliva that paralyses prey
oDigestive enzyme in saliva dissolve prey tissues
oAss. Bug suck out the prey tissues, leave empty cuticle
Found on surface of tree trunks in island forests, sometimes in termite mounds (Acanthaspis)
Cover whole bodies with particles of dust, sand, soil, kept in place with dense bristles = dust coat
Also pile prey corpses/vegetable matter as “backpack”
oBackpack attached by fine elastic threads secrete by specialized gland hairs on
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