Glands of the pleasing fungus beetle kill microbes, deter predators and competitors by secreting volatile fluids.

Pleasing fungus beetles living partly concealed in their fungal food source have devised a chemical arsenal that keeps predators and competitors at bay. Almost a dozen small, highly volatile compounds have been identified in glandular secretions near its front legs and reflex blood from its abdomen. Glandular secretions are thought to play predominantly antimicrobial functions whereas the malodorous reflex blood compounds deter competitors and predators, such as ants and rodents, while defending against microbial pathogens.

Sites of two types of secretions (left). Beetles living on fungus (right) Artist: Meghan Hanson || Copyright: All rights reserved by Biomimicry 3.8 Institute.

Image: Meghan Hanson /
Image: Siga / Wikimedia Commons /
Last Updated August 18, 2016