Enoclerus Gahan: predators of chemically protected ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Cleridae and Coccinellidae).

Jacques Rifkind

Abstract


Four species of the genus Enoclerus (Coleoptera: Cleridae) are reported to prey on chemically protected Coccinellidae in North America. The possibility that aposematically colored Enoclerus also mimic prey ladybird species is discussed, and the further possibility that clerid predators acquire chemical protection through sequestration of ladybird prey’s toxic alkaloids is suggested as an important avenue of investigation. The data presented are primarily based on photographs taken by non-specialists, discovered through Internet search. The crowdsourcing of natural history observations can reveal aspects of animal behavior heretofore unreported and even unsuspected.

Keywords


Clerid predation; clerid mimicry; Batesian mimicry; Müllerian mimicry; acquired distastefulness

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