Cardiac Glycosides and Distastefulness: Some Observations on the Palatability Spectrum of Butterflies

Science  03 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3940, pp. 78-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3940.78


The monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus sequesters cardiac gylcosides from northern species of Asclepias formerly reported to lack these noxious compounds. Thus, a new explanation must be sought as to why the monarchs reared on these northern asclepiads are palatable to avian predators.