Molecular Diversity of Compounds from Pygidial Gland Secretions of Cave-Dwelling Ground Beetles: The First Evidence
Perić Mataruga, Vesna
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Three adult cave-dwelling ground beetle species were induced to discharge secretions of their pygidial glands into vials. Dichloromethane extraction was used to obtain the secretions. In total, 42 compounds were identified by GC/MS analysis. Pheggomisetes ninae contained 32 glandular compounds, Laemostenus (Pristonychus) punctatus 13, whereas Duvalius (Paraduvalius) milutini had nine compounds. Caproic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids were present in the samples of all analyzed species. Undecane was predominant in the extract of L. punctatus. Palmitic acid was the major component in the secretion of D. milutini. Finally, the most abundant compounds in P. ninae secretion were heptacosene and nonacosadienes. Herein, we present the first data on the identification of pygidial gland secretion components in both troglophilous and troglobite cave-dwelling ground beetles. Some compounds are reported for the first time in the secretions of ground beetles and other higher or lower taxa. The adaptation to underground life has not led to a reduction or changes in the chemical defense mechanism in the analyzed troglophilous and troglobitic Platyninae and Trechinae taxa.