, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 731–732 | Cite as

Host-plant pyrrolizidine alkaloids inNyctemera annulata Boisduval: Their persistence through the life-cycle and transfer to a parasite

  • M. Benn
  • J. DeGrave
  • C. Gnanasunderam
  • R. Hutchins


Larvae ofNyctemera annulata Boisduval ingest pyrrolizidine alkaloids fromSenecio spathulatus A. Rich. which subsequently appear in the adult months and their eggs; the acquisition of the alkaloids by a parasite of theN. annulata larvae provides a further illustration of their ability to persist in insects.


Alkaloid Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Pyrrolizidine 
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    We are grateful to Miss Eileen Mayo of Christchurch, who designed the stamp, for the identification of this plant. We also thank Mr A.R. Anderson of the New Zealand Post Office H.Q., Wellington, for the information that some 419 million copies of this stamp were distributed, plus several million more surcharged to 4c: thus making the figure probably the most widely circulated illustration of an aposematically coloured insect with a host-plant likely responsible for its chemical defence against predators.Google Scholar
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    Identified by E. Valentine, Entomology Division, DSIR; see also E. Valentine, N. Z. J. Sci.10, 1100 (1967).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Benn
    • 1
  • J. DeGrave
    • 1
  • C. Gnanasunderam
    • 1
  • R. Hutchins
    • 1
  1. 1.Entomology DivisionDSIRAucklandNew Zealand

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