Mantids and milkweed bugs: efficacy of aposematic coloration against invertebrate predators.

M. R. Berenbaum, E. Miliczky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

After attacking and consuming milkweed bugs Oncopeltus fasciatus raised on seeds of milkweed Asclepias syriaca, the mantid Tenodera ardifolia sinensis regurgitates and shows signs of poisoning by cardenolides, secondary substances sequestered by the bugs from their host plants. After several encounters, mantids refuse to attack milkweed bugs altogether; moreoever, they refuse to attack palatable and non-toxic O. fasciatus. This is the first report of the efficacy of automimicry as a defense against invertebrate predators, and the first report of emetic potential of substances derived from milkweed against insects.-from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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