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Chemical basis of pupal cannibalism in a caterpillar (Utetheisa ornatrix)

Title data

Bogner, Franz X. ; Eisner, Thomas:
Chemical basis of pupal cannibalism in a caterpillar (Utetheisa ornatrix).
In: Experientia. Vol. 48 (1992) Issue 1 . - pp. 97-102.
ISSN 1420-9071
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01923618

Abstract in another language

The moth Utetheisa ornatrix derives protection against predation from systemic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (Pas) that it sequesters as a larva from its foodplants (Leguminosae, Crotalaria spp.). We here show, in laboratory tests, that Utetheisa deficient in body PA can make up for the chemical shortfall by cannibalizing pupae. We present evidence indicating that cannibalism in larvae is elicited not by hunger, but possibly by PA deficiency itself, and that in making cannibalistic larvae prefer PA-containing or PA-free pupae. Pas themselves, either in crystalline form or as additives to food items, proved phagostimulatory to larvae. In nature Utetheisa tend to pupate away from their food-plant, essentially out of reach of larval attack. The threat of cannibalism may have contributed to the evolution of this pupation behavior. Key wordsLepidoptera; Arctiidae; pyrrolizidine alkaloids; cannibalism; acquired defence; phagostimulation; specific hunger.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER24534
Institutions of the University: 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
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Didactics of Biology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2016 08:02
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2016 08:02
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/29771