Schierling, A; Dettner, K: The pygidial defense gland system of the Steninae (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae): Morphology, ultrastructure and evolution, Arthropod Structure & Development, 42, 197-208 (2013)

The pygidial defense glands of the Steninae consist of two big (r1) and two smaller (r2) secretion filled sac-like reservoirs with associated secretory tissues and basal eversible membrane structures. The secretion is made up of deterrent and antimicrobial alkaloids stored in r1 as well as terpenes in r2. The gland cells filling r1 form a band shaped secretory tissue (g1) in an invagination of the reservoir membrane. The content of r2 is secreted by a tissue (g2) surrounding the efferent duct of r1 opposite to r2. In both gland tissues the secretion is produced in type IIIt gland cells and accumulates in an extracellular cavity surrounded by numerous microvilli of the gland cell membrane. After exocytosis the secretion enters an epicuticular duct and is transported to the corresponding reservoir via a conducting canal enclosed in at least one canal cell. While the structure of g1 is very similar in all species of the Steninae, g2 is often reduced. This reduction of the system r2/g2 is accompanied by a decreasing amount of terpenes in the total secretion and could be of interest for phylogenetic studies in the subfamily of the Steninae.

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