CHEMOECOLOGY

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 213–218

Apportionment of nuptial alkaloidal gifts by a multiply-mated female moth (Utetheisa ornatrix): eggs individually receive alkaloid from more than one male source

  • Alexander Bezzerides
  • Thomas Eisener

Summary.

In the moth Utetheisa ornatrix the female is promiscuous and receives a nuptial gift of pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) by seminal infusion from each mate. The alkaloidal gifts are transmitted by the female to the eggs, which are protected as a result. We here show that individual eggs may receive PAs from more than one male source and that individual males have no assurance that the PA they themselves contribute to the female will find its way exclusively to eggs of their siring.

Key words. Nuptial gift — paternal investment — female promiscuity — pyrrolizidine alkaloid — insect/plant interaction — Arctiidae 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Bezzerides
    • 1
  • Thomas Eisener
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Seeley G. Mudd Hall, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14835, USAUS

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