Slime-production in mycophagous nitidulidae (coleoptera) including a new species of eusphaerius

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Adult, larval, and pupal stages of the nitiduline nitidulid Eusphaerius lubricus sp. nov. from Peru are described. Larvae and adults feed on the external surfaces of a coral fungus (Ramaria sp.). Pupation occurs among host mycelia inside rotting logs. Larvae secrete a slimy, mucus-like substance that covers the entire body except for the head, legs, and distal portions of the spiracular tubercles. This slimy substance appears to be secreted by large glands located in the dorsal and dorsolateral portions in the body. Similar glands and secretions also occur in larvae of the North American nitiduline species Pallodes pallidus Palisot de Beauvois, 1805. Possible functions of slime and information regarding the taxonomic status of Eusphaerius and its relatives are discussed. © 1996 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Journal of Natural History

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