, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 11–13 | Cite as

Aristolochic acid content of South-East Asian troidine swallowtails (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) and of Aristolochia plant species (Aristolochiaceae)

  • Dietrich Mebs
  • Michael Schneider


Analysis of South-East Asian troidine swallowtails revealed high variability in the content of aristolochic acids among individuals. The presence or absence of these compounds depends on the Aristolochia species available as food plant for the larvae. Only one plant species (Aristolochia philippinensis) contained a high concentration of aristolochic acids, while other species from various localities contained none or only marginal amounts. Whether aristolochic acids have a distinct function in chemical defense of these swallowtails is still an open question.

Key words

Aristolochiaceae aristolochic acids chemical defense Papilionidae swallowtail butterflies 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietrich Mebs
    • 1
  • Michael Schneider
  1. 1.Zentrum der Rechtsmedizin, Universität Frankfurt, Kennedyallee 104, D-60596 Frankfurt, GermanyGermany

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