Ascorbic Acid in the Nutrition of Plant-Feeding Insects

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Science  31 May 1963:
Vol. 140, Issue 3570, pp. 989-991
DOI: 10.1126/science.140.3570.989


Bollworms, Heliothis zea (Boddie), and salt-marsh caterpillars, Estigmene acrea (Drury) gradually decreased in ascorbic acid content as they matured, even in its presence. Cotton leafworms, Alabama argillacea (Hübner), also lost ascorbic acid, although a dietary need for the vitamin was not proved. Pink bollworms, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders), reared without the vitamin, increased in ascorbic acid content as they matured, an indication that the vitamin was synthesized by the insect.