Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 569–577 | Cite as

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids quantitatively regulate both scent organ morphogenesis and pheromone biosynthesis in maleCreatonotos moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

  • Michael Boppré
  • Dietrich Schneider


Males ofCreatonotos gangis andC. transiens possess coremata (‘scent organs’) of drastically varying sizes (Figs. 2, 3), which release R(-)-hydroxydanaidal (Fig. 1A) in varying amounts. Both the size of the organs and their pheromone content depend on the ingestion of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs; Fig. 1 B, C) by the larvae. There is a direct correlation between amounts of PAs ingested and the size of the organs (Fig. 4). It is the absolute amount of PAs ingested which determines the expression of corematal size, structurally different PAs have identical effects (Table 2); PAs are no essential dietary factors for the general development of the moths (Table 1), and the morphogenetic effect is restricted to the coremata. The findings are discussed in terms of developmental, ecological and functional aspects.



pyrrolizidine alkaloids


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Boppré
    • 1
  • Dietrich Schneider
    • 2
  1. 1.Zoologie, SFB 4/B6Universität RegensburgRegensburg
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenFederal Republic of Germany

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