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

Title data

Bogner, Franz X. ; Eisner, Thomas:
Chemical basis of egg cannibalism in a caterpillar (Utetheisa ornatrix).
In: Journal of Chemical Ecology. Vol. 17 (1991) Issue 11 . - pp. 2063-2075.
ISSN 1573-1561
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00987992

Abstract in another language

Abstract – Larvae of the moth Utetheisa ornatrix are shown to cannibalise eggs in the laboratory. They proved most cannibalistic if they were systemically deficient in pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA), the defensive agent that protects Utetheisa at all stages of development against predation, and which Utetheisa acquire as larvae from their food plant. In exercising cannibalistic choice, Utetheisa larvae feed preferentially on eggs that are PA-laden rather than PA-free. Egg cannibalism can therefore provide Utetheisa with a supplemental means of PA procurement. Moreover, presence of PA in the egg, while providing the egg with defence against predation, can increase its vulnerability to cannibalism. Although evidence is presented that Utetheisa larvae cannibalise eggs in nature, it is argued that such feeding may occur only opportunistically in the wild, rather than as a matter of course.Key Words – Utetheisa ornatrix, Lepidoptera, Arctiidae, pyrrolizidine alkaloid, egg cannibalism, acquired defence, phagostimulant, specific hunger.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER24551
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/29778