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Invasion by large populations of the litter-dwelling darkling beetle Luprops tristis Fabricius (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) following the short spell of summer rains during April, and their extended state of dormancy is a regular event in rubber plantation habitats in south-western India. Strong smelling secretions of the beetle cause blisters on skin of human beings. Such secretions appear defensive because they appear to facilitate their avoidance by other predatory organisms. Defensive glands in the larvae and adults of L. tristis are described, as well as the mode of eversion of the glands. The glands in larvae consist of two pairs of noneversible glands in a conical depression on the 2nd and 3rd sternites, whereas in adults only one pair occurs between 7th and 8th sternal segments. These glands may be a major reason for avoidance of larvae and adults by their natural enemies and their very high numbers in the litter of rubber plantations.