Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Precopulatory Sexual Interaction in an Arctiid Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix): Role of a Pheromone Derived from Dietary Alkaloids

William E. Conner, Thomas Eisner, Robert K. Vander Meer, Angel Guerrero and Jerrold Meinwald
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 9, No. 3 (1981), pp. 227-235
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599437
Page Count: 9
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Precopulatory Sexual Interaction in an Arctiid Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix): Role of a Pheromone Derived from Dietary Alkaloids
Preview not available

Abstract

Males of Utetheisa ornatrix have a pair of brushlike glandular structures, the coremata, which they evert from the abdomen during close-range precopulatory interaction with the female. Males experimentally deprived of coremata are less acceptable to females. The principal chemical associated with the coremata, identified as a pyrrolizine (hydroxydanaidal), has a proven pheromonal role: males raised under conditions where they fail to produce hydroxydanaidal are also less likely to succeed in courtship, and the compound itself, as its (-)-isomer, is capable of inducing the principal receptive response (wing raising) of the female. Evidence is presented indicating that Utetheisa derive hydroxydanaidal from defensive pyrrolizidine alkaloids that they sequester from their larval foodplants (Crotalaria spp.). It is proposed that in addition to signalling male presence to the female, hydroxydanaidal may provide the means whereby the female assesses the alkaloid content of the male and therefore his degree of chemical protectedness. The argument is made that such pheromonal assessment of defensive capacity may occur also in other insects, including danaid butterflies, many of which share with Utetheisa a dependence on pyrrolizidine alkaloids for sex-pheromone production.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[227]
    [227]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229
  • Thumbnail: Page 
230
    230
  • Thumbnail: Page 
231
    231
  • Thumbnail: Page 
232
    232
  • Thumbnail: Page 
233
    233
  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235