Mayolenes: Labile defensive lipids from the glandular hairs of a caterpillar (Pieris rapae)

Scott R. Smedley, Frank C. Schroeder, Douglas B. Weibel, Jerrold Meinwald, Katie A. Lafleur, J. Alan Renwick, Ronald Rutowski, Thomas Eisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Larvae of the European cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae (Pieridae), are beset with glandular hairs, bearing droplets of a clear oily secretion at their tip. The fluid consists primarily of a series of chemically labile, unsaturated lipids, the mayolenes, which are derived from 11-hydroxylinolenic acid. In bioassays with the ant Crematogaster lineolata, the secretion was shown to be potently deterrent, indicating that the fluid plays a defensive role in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6822-6827
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume99
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2002

Keywords

  • Chemical defense
  • Formicidae
  • Lepidoptera
  • Predation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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