Journal of Insect Science (2011) 11 (55), 1-10

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Alfonso Pescador-Rubio, Sergio G. Stanford-Camargo, Luis E. Páez-Gerardo, Alberto J. Ramírez-Reyes, René A. Ibarra-Jiménez and Terrence D. Fitzgerald (2011)
Trail marking by caterpillars of the silverspot butterfly Dione juno huascuma
Journal of Insect Science 11 (55), 1-10
Abstract: A pheromone is implicated in the trail marking behavior of caterpillars of the nymphalid silverspot butterfly, Dione juno huascuma (Reakirt) (Lepidoptera: Heliconiinae) that feed gregariously on Passiflora (Malpighiales: Passifloraceae) vines in Mexico. Although they mark pathways leading from one feeding site to another with silk, this study shows that the silk was neither adequate nor necessary to elicit trail following behavior. Caterpillars marked trails with a long-lived pheromone that was deposited when they brushed the ventral surfaces of the tips of their abdomens along branch pathways. The caterpillars distinguished between pathways deposited by different numbers of siblings and between trails of different ages. Caterpillars also preferentially followed the trails of conspecifics over those of another nymphalid, Nymphalis antiopa L., the mourning cloak butterfly.
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Database assignments for author(s): Terrence D. Fitzgerald

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Dione juno Passionfruit (Passiflora) Mexico