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Developmental changes in the caudal and lateral processes of larvae of Aspidomorpha deusta (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae)

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Caudal and lateral processes of larvae of the Australian tortoise beetle Aspidomorpha deusta (Fabricius) were examined using scanning electron microscopy. The caudal process holds a movable faecal shield thought to be important in larval defence. First-instar larvae have barbs on the caudal processes, whereas older larvae (second, third and fourth instar) lack barbs. Similarly, young larvae (first instar and second instar) have barbs on lateral processes. Barbs may help in the retention of the shield material. The lateral processes of first-instar and second-instar larvae carry spinules that terminate in complex structures thought to be touch sensitive.
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Keywords: beetle larvae; caudal appendage; faecal shield; larval instar; tortoise beetle

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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