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Chemical Egg Defense in a Green Lacewing (Ceraeochrysa smithi)

Thomas Eisner, Athula B. Attygalle, William E. Conner, Maria Eisner, Ellis MacLeod and Jerrold Meinwald
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 93, No. 8 (Apr. 16, 1996), pp. 3280-3283
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/38949
Page Count: 4
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Chemical Egg Defense in a Green Lacewing (Ceraeochrysa smithi)
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Abstract

The green lacewing Ceraeochrysa smithi (Neuroptera, Chrysopidae), like other members of its family, lays its eggs on stalks, but it is unusual in that it coats these stalks with droplets of an oily fluid. The liquid consists of a mixture of fatty acids, an ester, and a series of straight-chain aldehydes. Relative to the eggs of a congeneric chrysopid that lacks stalk fluid, the eggs of C. smithi proved well protected against ants. Components of the fluid, in an assay with a cockroach, proved potently irritant. Following emergence from the egg, C. smithi larvae imbibe the stalk fluid, thereby possibly deriving nutritive benefit, defensive advantage, or both.

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