Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 797–805 | Cite as

Monooxygenase activities of fat body and gut homogenates of monarch butterfly larvae,Danaus plexippus, fed four cardenolide-containing milkweeds,Asclepias spp.

  • Melanie A. Marty
  • Shirley J. Gee
  • Robert I. Krieger


Monarch butterfly larvae were examined for NADPH-dependent monooxygenase activities. Midgut and fat body homogenates catalyzed aldrin epoxidation andp-chloro-N-methylanilineN-demethylation at consistently low rates compared to many other lepidopteran larvae. Homogenates from larvae collected from four different milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) with quite different cardenolide contents had similar levels of activity. There were no detectable variations in activity due to season or year of collection.

Key words

Monarch butterfly Asclepias spp. monooxygenase induction cardenolide aldrin epoxidation p-chloro-N-methylanilme demethylation Lepidoptera Danaidae 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie A. Marty
    • 1
  • Shirley J. Gee
    • 1
  • Robert I. Krieger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ToxicologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

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