Chemical Feeding Deterrent Mobilized in Response to Insect Herbivory and Counteradaptation by Epilachna tredecimnotata

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Science  18 Jul 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4454, pp. 414-416
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4454.414


Experimentally damaged leaves of Cucurbita moschata mobilize substances to the damaged region within 40 minutes. These substances stimulate feeding by Acalymma vittata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and inhibit feeding by Epilacha tredecimnotata (Coleoptera: Coccinelidae). Under natural conditions, Epilachna cuts a circular trench in the leaf before feeding on the encircled leaf material, thus preventing mobilization of the deterrent substances to the feeding area.