, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 631–632

Hypersensitivity reaction of Brassica nigra L. (Cruciferae) kills eggs of Pieris butterflies (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)


  • A. M. Shapiro
    • Department of ZoologyUniversity of California
  • J. E. DeVay
    • Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of California
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/BF00379310

Cite this article as:
Shapiro, A.M. & DeVay, J.E. Oecologia (1987) 71: 631. doi:10.1007/BF00379310


Some individual plants of the mustard Brassica nigra in lowland California kill eggs of the Crucifer-specialist herbivores Pieris rapae and P. napi by producing a necrotic zone at the base of the egg, thereby apparently desicating it. This is a typical hypersensitivity reaction, but to an atypical stimulus. The eggs can be “rescued” by maintaining them in a saturated atmosphere. Attempts to demonstrate a bacterial or fungal agent associated with the reaction were unsuccessful.

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© Springer-Verlag 1987