Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (2): 267-279, 2012 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2012.035

Thoracic scent efferent system and exponium of Aphylidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomoidea), its architecture and function

Petr KMENT1, Pavel ŠTYS2, Jitka VILÍMOVÁ2
1 Department of Entomology, National Museum, Kunratice 1, CZ-148 00 Praha 4 - Kunratice, Czech Republic; e-mail: sigara@post.cz
2 Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Viničná 7, CZ-128 44 Praha 2, Czech Republic; e-mails: pavelstys@gmail.com, vilim@natur.cuni.cz

The external morphology of Aphylidae was studied previously in detail by the two junior authors, including the description of unique derived structures formed by their lateral thoracico-abdominal region (the exponium). Here we provide an additional description of the external scent efferent system of the metathoracic scent glands of species in the genus Aphylum Bergroth, 1906 (based on scanning electron microscope study) and its connection with an autapomorphic aphylid thoracico-abdominal region, the exponium. The origins of exponial sclerites are discussed and function of the exponium is hypothesised as being part of a complex defensive mechanism in the Aphylidae.

Keywords: Heteroptera, Pentatomoidea, Aphylidae, morphology, thorax, exponium, efferent system of metathoracic scent glands, antipredatory behaviour

Received: July 22, 2011; Accepted: November 1, 2011; Published: April 5, 2012

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