Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Preferencia de oviposición por las mariposas Heliconiinae (Nymphalidae) en las hojas Passiflora biflora (Passifloraceae) con altas concentraciones de cianuro

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Publication Date

May 2008

Abstract

Passiflora spp. produces cyanogenic glycosides to prevent herbivory. The butterfly subfamily Heliconiinae (Nymphalidae) has broken through this defense with the ability to ingest the cyanogenic compounds. A coevolutionary arms race of adaptations and counter-adaptations followed, in which it is believed that Passiflora spp. evolved a series of counter-adaptive defenses, like egg-mimics, leaf shape, and extrafloral nectarines, to specifically combat heliconiines. While sometimes overcoming these adaptations, heliconiines still consider them for oviposition. Additionally, the role of cyanide may also have an effect on oviposition. It has been suggested that while detrimental to larvae, cyanide provides protection that promotes oviposition. There are also numerous studies suggesting defensive and nutritional benefits of CN when Heliconiinae is able to sequester cyanogenic compounds. Many times there are trade-offs in the defenses of young leaves, which might suggest that cyanide indicates fewer defenses. This study examines the role of cyanide (CN) concentrations in Passiflora biflora on ovipostion by Heliconiinae. Two studies were performed on cyanide preference. First, an analysis of cyanide concentration in similar leaves with and without eggs was conducted. Second, leaves had their cyanide concentrations artificially increased with CN/methanol extract and were then monitored for oviposition. When analyzing the cyanide concentrations of similar leaves with and without eggs, a trend of preferential oviposition on leaves of higher cyanide concentration was observed. There also seemed to be a two-fold difference, on average, between leaves with and without eggs, 0.50µg and 0.25µg CN respectively. The second study showed a preference for leaves with CN/methanol extract to leaves with extract alone and leaves with no alteration with eggs totaling nine, one, and one, respectively. This study suggests the importance of cyanide concentration for oviposition by heliconiines. This behavior might be explained by the protection provided from non-heliconiine herbivores or by possible nutritional and chemical benefits associated with the sequestration of CN. Additionally, if trade-offs are present, cyanide might indicate fewer non-cyanide defenses. Passiflora spp produce glucósidos de cianuro para prevenir la herbivoría. La subfamilia de mariposas Heliconiinae (Nymphalidae) ha traspasado esta defensa con la habilidad de ingerir compuestos con cianuro. Una carrera armamentista coevolutivos de adaptaciones y contra adaptaciones seguidas, en la cual se cree que Passiflora spp evoluciona una serie de defensas adaptativas, como el mimetismo de huevos, la forma de la hoja, y los nectarios extraflorales, para combatir específicamente a estas mariposas. Mientras algunas veces las mariposas sobrepasan estas adaptaciones considerando estas plantas para la oviposición. Además, el papel del cianuro puede tener un efecto en la oviposición. Se ha sugerido que en lugar de destruir la larva, el cianuro provee una protección impulsando la oviposición. Existen también numerosos estudios que sugieren beneficios nutricionales y defensivos del CN cuando Heliconiinae es capaz de tomar compuestos cianogénicos. Algunas veces existen compensaciones en la defensa de las hojas jóvenes, lo que puede indicar menos defensas. Este estudio examina el papel de concentraciones del cianuro (CN) en la oviposición de Passiflora biflora por Heliconiinae.

Keywords

Butterflies--Behavior, Mariposas--Comportamiento, Butterflies, Mariposas, Passiflora, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Spring 2008, CIEE Primavera 2008

Description

Student affiliation : Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Tulsa Born Digital

Subject: topical

Butterflies--Behavior; Mariposas--Comportamiento; Butterflies; Mariposas; Passiflora; CIEE Spring 2008; CIEE Primavera 2008

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde

Genre

Reports

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI

Identifier

M39-00446

Preferential oviposition by Heliconiinae (Nymphalidae) butterflies on Passiflora biflora (Passifloraceae) leaves with higher cyanide concentrations

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