Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 10, Issue 11, pp 1567–1577 | Cite as

Iridoid glycosides and host-plant specificity in larvae of the buckeye butterfly,Junonia coenia (Nymphalidae)

  • M. Deane Bowers


Larvae of the buckeye,Junonia coenia (Nymphalidae) feed primarily on plants in four families: Scrophulariaceae, Plantaginaceae, Verbenaceae, and Acanthaceae. These plant families have in common the presence of a group of plant secondary compounds, the iridoid glycosides. Larvae were reared on three plant species and two artificial diets, one with and one without iridoid glycosides.Larvae grew poorly and had low survivorship on the artificial diet without iridoid glycosides, while growth and survival on the artificial diet with iridoid glycosides was comparable to that on plants. Choice tests using artificial diets with and without iridoid glycosides showed that larvae: (1) chose diets with iridoid glycosides (in the form of a crude extract or pure compound) over a diet without; (2) showed no preference between the diet with the crude extract and that with pure iridoid glycoside, and (3) preferred the artificial diet with ground leaves of the host plant,Plantago lanceolata, over the diet with pure iridoid glycosides. The artificial diet that larvae had been reared on prior to these tests had no effect on subsequent larval preferences in the choice tests.

Key words

Iridoid glycoside Junonia coenia Lepidoptera Nymphalidae host-plant specificity coevolution insect-plant interaction Plantago lanceolata buckeye chemical ecology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Deane Bowers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesStanford universityStanford

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