|Drilling, K; Dettner, K; Klass, K-D: Morphology of the pronotal compound glands in Tritoma bipustulata (Coleoptera: Erotylidae), Organisms Diversity and Evolution, 10, 205-214 (2010), doi:10.1007/s13127-010-0008-0|
Members of the cucujiform family Erotylidae possess a whole arsenal of compound integumentary glands. Structural details of the glands of the pronotum of Tritoma bipustulata and Triplax scutellaris are provided for the first time. These glands, which open in the posterior and anterior pronotal corners, bear, upon a long, usually unbranched excretory duct, numerous identical gland units, each comprising a central cuticular canal surrounded by a proximal canal cell and a distal secretory cell. The canal cell forms a lateral appendix filled with a filamentous mass probably consisting of cuticle, and the cuticle inside the secretory cell is strongly spongiose—both structural features previously not known for compound glands of beetles. Additional data are provided for compound glands of the prosternal process and for simple (dermal) glands of the pronotum. A combined defense plus anti-microbial function of the compound glands is tentatively proposed.