A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Antipredator strategies of pupae : how to avoid predation in an immobile life stage? (2019)

Lindstedt, C., Murphy, L., & Mappes, J. (2019). Antipredator strategies of pupae : how to avoid predation in an immobile life stage?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 374(1783), Article 20190069. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0069

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Lindstedt, Carita; Murphy, Liam; Mappes, Johanna

Journal or series: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences

ISSN: 0962-8436

eISSN: 1471-2970

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 374

Issue number: 1783

Article number: 20190069

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0069

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66170

Additional information: This article is part of the theme issue ‘The evolution of complete metamorphosis’.


Antipredator strategies of the pupal stage in insects have received little attention in comparison to larval or adult stages. This is despite the fact that predation risk can be high during the pupal stage, making it a critical stage for subsequent fitness. The immobile pupae are not, however, defenceless; a wide range of antipredator strategies have evolved against invertebrate and vertebrate predators. The most common strategy seems to be ‘avoiding encounters with predators' by actively hiding in vegetation and soil or via cryptic coloration and masquerade. Pupae have also evolved behavioural and secondary defences such as defensive toxins, physical defences or deimatic movements and sounds. Interestingly, warning coloration used to advertise unprofitability has evolved very rarely, even though the pupal stage often contains defensive toxins in chemically defended species. In some species, pupae gain protection from conspecifics or mimic chemical and auditory signals and thereby manipulate other species to protect them. Our literature survey highlights the importance of studying selection pressures across an individual's life stages to predict how ontogenetic variation in selective environments shapes individual fitness and population dynamics in insects. Finally, we also suggest interesting avenues for future research to pursue.

Keywords: insects; larvae; prey; protecting oneself; protective coloration; defence mechanisms (biological phenomena)

Free keywords: predator–prey interactions; protective coloration; pupal defence; physical defence; chemical defence

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 15:58