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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Alarm communication: a new function for the scent-gland secretion in harvestmen (Arachnida : Opiliones)
Author: Machado, G
Bonato, V
Oliveira, PS
Abstract: Most harvestmen are nocturnal, nonacoustical, and nonvisual arthropods. They have a pair of exocrine glands on the cephalothorax that produce defensive volatile secretions. We investigated in the field the possible alarm effect of these secretions in the gregarious harvestman Goniosoma aff. proximum. A cotton swab soaked with the species' own exudate (treatment), or with water (control), was held 1-2 cm from the center of harvestmen aggregations. The results showed that the gland secretion elicits an alarm response in Goniosoma: whereas 73.3% of the aggregations dispersed after being stimulated with the gland exudate, only 3.3% responded to the water control. Respondent groups are larger than non-respondent groups, and the time of reaction to the secretion was inversely related to group size. This is the first demonstration of a chemically-mediated alarm effect in harvestmen. The alarm response in gregarious harvestmen has possibly evolved as a by-product of a primarily defensive reaction in the context of predator avoidance. The discovery of this novel function of scent-gland secretion is meaningful in view of the widespread occurrence of gregarious habit among species of the order Opiliones.
Country: EUA
Editor: Springer-verlag
Rights: fechado
Identifier DOI: 10.1007/s00114-002-0337-8
Date Issue: 2002
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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