New video on Leptusa larval behavior

The video demonstrates some Leptusa (probably pusio) larval behavior. Larvae and adults were collected under oak bark in the fall. I’ve been keeping the larvae in the hopes of seeing whether they spin a cocoon and to confirm the adult association, but because I’ve been keeping them inside and they likely need a period of cold diapause, they were slowly dying off. In the mean time, I took the opportunity to take some videos.

An interesting observation I was able to make was on their “dabbing” behavior using the abdominal defensive gland—originally described by Dettner (1993). The highly pigmented nozzle-like end to the gland is used to dab defensive secretions onto aggressors. I am currently coauthoring a paper where we discuss this morphology as a potential synapomorphy for the homalotine-groups of aleocharines, and I’ll update you guys on it further when it is published.

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