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Interspecific advantage results in intraspecific disadvantage: Chemical protection versus cannibalism inUtetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

Title data

Bogner, Franz X.:
Interspecific advantage results in intraspecific disadvantage: Chemical protection versus cannibalism inUtetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae).
In: Journal of Chemical Ecology. Vol. 22 (1996) Issue 8 . - pp. 1439-1451.
ISSN 1573-1561
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02027723

Abstract in another language

This study suggests that alkaloid deficiency in Utetheisa (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) is a main cause of cannibalism; moreover, cannibalism can be predicted on the basis of alkaloid deficiency and of systemic alkaloid accumulation. This chemical plays a central role in the life of this species, because, first, it provides acquired chemical protection from potential predators, and, second, it determines mating success (as the alkaloid is an essential precursor of the male pheromone). Consequently, losers in the larval sequestering of alkaloids, which would result in a lack of chemical protection and in decreased mating success, tend to target conspecific winners, which are normally substantially protected against a variety of predators; by cannibalizing those accumulated alkaloid sources the losers tend to become the winners of cannibalistic encounters while making up their shortfall of these chemicals. What is a presumptive advantage in selection under high predation pressures and/or high alkaloid availabilities could become a disadvantage under high conspecific population densities and shortages of alkaloid supplies for larval uptake. Cannibalism may be expected to have general ecological importance in the evolutionary play of Utetheisa and may contribute to a balanced regulation of the acquired alkaloid contents in these arctiid populations. Key Words: Larval cannibalism, pyrrolizidine alkaloid, chemical protection, population density, Utetheisa ornatrix.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER24527
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Didactics of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Didactics of Biology > Chair Didactics of Biology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Franz Xaver Bogner
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2015 05:51
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 05:51
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/18990