Hypericin, an anthrone dimer in Hypericum perforatum (Guttiferae), is shown for the first time to be phototoxic to generalist lepidopteran larvae; survivorship was reduced and development prolonged for Heliothis zea (Noctuidae) and Platynota flavedana (Tortricidae) that consumed hypericin diets in the presence of light. Survivorship for both species is enhanced when photoactivating wavelengths are excluded by filters. In nature P. flavedana successfully survives on H. perforatum by tying together leaves and feeding inside the ties. Shielded from light, the larvae are protected by their mode of feeding from phototoxic compounds.
- Heliothis zea
- Hypericum perforatum
- Platynota flavedana
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics