Death feigning as an anti-predator defense in red flour beetlesĀ 

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Abstract Summary

Death feigning or thanatosis is a well-known anti-predator defense seen in the animal kingdom including in the confused flour beetles (Tribolium confusum). We hypothesize that red flour beetles(T. castaneum)like confused flour beetles will feign death in the presence of predators. Adults and larvae will be observed in an experimental habitat, where faux predators such as roaches of different sizes will be used. The frequency and duration of behaviors exhibited by the beetles, including that of death feigning will be measured. We predict that death feigning will occur more frequently and for a longer duration when placed in an arena with a larger predator rather than a smaller sized predator. This study will shed light on relatively less understood aspect of red flour beetle behavior around predators.

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