An ethanolic extract of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) leaves (RME) applied to trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) leaves reduced feeding in choice test assays with forest tent caterpillar larvae (Malacosoma disstria Hbn.) (FTC), whereas a trembling aspen foliage extract, similarly applied, stimulated feeding. Compounds isolated from the RME were gallic acid, methyl gallate, ethyl gallate, m-digallate, ethyl m-digallate, 1-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose, 1-O-galloyl-α-L-rhamnose, kaempferol 3-O-β-D-glucoside, kaempferol 3-O-β-D-galactoside, kaempferol 3-O-β-L-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoglucoside, quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucoside, quercetin 3-O-β-L-rhamnoside and quercetin 3-O-rhamnoglucoside, (−)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin and ellagic acid. All of the gallates, (−)-epicatechin, and kaempferol 3-O-β-L-rhamnoside deterred feeding on trembling aspen leaf disks when applied at 0.28 mg/cm2. The two digallates deterred feeding by 90% and were the most effective. HPLC analysis indicated that ethyl m-digallate is present in amounts 10–100 × higher in RME (∼2.5–250 mg/g) than any other compound. Thus, ethyl m-digallate appears to be the major compound protecting red maple from feeding by FTC, with a minor contribution from other gallates.
Acer rubrum L., red maple A. saccharum L., sugar maple Aceraceae Populus tremuloides Michx., trembling aspen Salicaceae Malacosoma disstria Hubner forest tent caterpillar Lepidoptera Lasiocampidae feeding deterrence phenolics gallates flavonols