Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1455–1479 | Cite as

Effects of Cyanogenesis Polymorphism in Turnera ulmifolia on Euptoieta hegesia and Potential Anolis Predators

  • Phillip J. Schappert
  • Joel S. Shore


We examine the effects of the cyanogenesis polymorphism in Turnera ulmifolia on larvae, pupae, and adults of Euptoieta hegesia, the most damaging herbivore of T. ulmifolia in terms of tissue loss per unit time. We provide evidence that female E. hegesia do not show preference for host plants on the basis of their cyanogenesis level but do prefer T. ulmifolia over equally cyanogenic, closely related secondary host-plant species (Passiflora sp.). Similarly, cyanogenesis in T. ulmifolia has little effect on the food preference, growth, or development of the larvae. The potential host range of E. hegesia is limited, even within the genus Turnera, but this does not appear to be due to host-plant cyanogenesis. Pupae suffer very high mortality levels in the wild that are not associated with host-plant cyanogenesis, although our studies indicate that larvae are capable of sequestering cyanogenic glycosides from their host plants and possibly of synthesizing these or similar compounds. We provide evidence that the presence of sequestered cyanogenic compounds in the larvae protects them from terrestrial-based predators such as Anolis lizards

Turnera ulmifolia Euptoieta hegesia cyanogenesis Anolis sagrei tritrophic interactions host range sequestration growth development oviposition 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip J. Schappert
    • 1
  • Joel S. Shore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada. Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1064

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