Methylcyclopentanoid Monoterpenes Mediate Interactions Among Insect Herbivores

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Science  13 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4756, pp. 1408-1410
DOI: 10.1126/science.232.4756.1408


Beetles secrete an array of chemicals generally believed to mitigate attack by predators. Methylcyclopentanoid monoterpenes secreted by larvae of the willow leaf beetle, Plagiodera versicolora, deter feeding by conspecific adults. Furthermore, the secretion elicits a strong repugnancy response in larvae of another willow herbivore, Nymphalis antiopa. Leaves bearing beetle larvae are less likely than leaves not bearing beetles to be frequented and consumed by Nymphalis larvae. Predator defense may not be the sole function of glandular secretions produced by herbivorous insects; secretions may also mediate interactions among herbivores that use a common resource.