Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 199–210 | Cite as

Sapindaceae, cyanolipids, and bugs

  • J. R. Aldrich
  • S. P. Carroll
  • W. R. Lusby
  • M. J. Thompson
  • J. P. Kochansky
  • R. M. Waters


Scentless plant bugs (Heteroptera: Rhopalidae) are so named because adults of the Serinethinae have vestigial metathoracic scent glands. Serinethines are seed predators of Sapindales, especially Sapindaceae that produce toxic cyanolipids. In two serinethine species whose ranges extend into the southern United States,Jadera haematoloma andJ. sanguinolenta, sequestration of host cyanolipids as glucosides renders these gregarious, aposematic insects unpalatable to a variety of predators. The blood glucoside profile and cyanogenesis ofJadera varies depending on the cyanolipid chemistry of hosts, and adults and larvae fed golden rain tree seeds (Koelreuteria paniculata) excrete the volatile lactone, 4-methyl-2(5H)-furanone, to which they are attracted.Jadera fed balloon vine seeds (Cardiospermum spp.) do not excrete the attractive lactone. Loss of the usual heteropteran defensive glands in serinethines may have coevolved with host specificity on toxic plants, and the orientation ofJadera to a volatile excretory product could be an adaptive response to save time.

Key Words

Leptocoris Jadera Heteroptera Rhopalidae Serinethinae Sapindaceae cyanogenesis glucoside sequestration allomone attractant predation pheromone allelochemic 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Aldrich
    • 1
  • S. P. Carroll
    • 2
  • W. R. Lusby
    • 1
  • M. J. Thompson
    • 1
  • J. P. Kochansky
    • 1
  • R. M. Waters
    • 3
  1. 1.Insect Hormone LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBeltsville
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake City
  3. 3.Insect Chemical Ecology LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBeltsville

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