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Photo#31223
Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara

Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara
Windham, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
September 9, 2005
Size: 2 mm
What are the functions of each of these unusually-shaped antenna segments?

Images of this individual: tag all
Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Caenocara sp. , Puffball Beetle - Caenocara Host puffballs - Caenocara Pupal shells from puffball - Caenocara

Functions
Hi Jim!
You already observed that Puffball beetles retract their antennae into a ventral groove beneath their head in defense posture. The shape of the terminal segments just allows for that, combined with maximum surface of these segments.
Many Dorcatomines depend on rare microhabitats for larval development, which are seeked for by the females. Only the terminal antennal segments bear olfactory sensilla, which is the reason for their enlargement. Males do not seek for breeding places, but for females in the same manner, and their antennae are even more enlarged, allowing for the detection of traces of female pheromones.

hope that answered your question,
Boris

 
Great stuff!
Thanks for explaining.

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