Do fecal shields provide physical protection to larvae of the tortoise beetles Plagiometriona flavescens and Stolas chalybea against natural enemies?
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During their larval phase, Plagiometriona flavescens(Boheman, 1855) and Stolas chalybea (Germar, 1824) (Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae), carry masses of feces and exuviae on their back called fecal shield, and it is suggested to protect larvae against natural enemies. We investigated if the physical barrier provided by the shield plays any role in the defense of these larvae. We conducted a field experiment checking the mortality of larvae of both species with their natural shields substituted by an artificial shield, with shields removed and with their shields intact. Mortality controls for each of the 3 shield treatments were carried out on host plants protected against natural enemies. On both species we observed that larvae with their shields intact had a significant lower mortality proportion than larvae with artificial shields or without shields. Control larvae on protected plants had low mortality. Our results agree with literature data, showing that fecal shields do not provide a physical protection to larvae but are important in their defense, probably due to the chemicals present in them.
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- Do fecal shields provide physical protection to larvae of the tortoise beetles Plagiometriona flavescens and Stolas chalybea against natural enemies?
- Book Title
- Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Insect-Plant Relationships
- pp 203-206
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Series Title
- Series Entomologica
- Series Volume
- Springer Netherlands
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Additional Links
- Aureliana fasciculata
- Calea pinnatifida
- physical protection
- chemical protection
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Chemistry Department, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
- 2. Danish Environmental Research Institute
- 3. Department of Entomology, Wageningen University
- Author Affiliations
- 4. Laboratorio de Ecologia Química, Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, CP 6109, 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil
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