DesplandSantacruzEndara2016

Reference

Despland, E. and Santacruz Endara, P. (2016) Silk drives aggregation and following in the neotropical caterpillar Mechanitis menapis (Nymphalidae: Ithomiini). Physiological Entomology, 41(3):274-280. (Scopus )

Abstract

Gregarious larvae that use chemical communication to feed and move together are widespread among folivorous insects, although social behaviour has been studied almost exclusively in a few temperate zone genera. The Menapis (or variable) tigerwing butterfly Mechanitis menapis mantineus Hewitson (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Danainae, Ithomiini) is a neotropical species whose larvae feed gregariously on Solanaceae host plants. In laboratory experiments conducted in the Ecuador cloud forest, M. menapis caterpillars are attracted to silk produced by conspecifics and show no evidence of pheromone production. Indeed, caterpillars consistently choose arenas with silk over bare arenas but do not show a preference for arenas marked with abdominal cuticular surface residues. Mechanitis menapis caterpillars on silk-coated plants are both more mobile and more cohesive than those on control plants. Nonetheless, caterpillars move independently over unmarked surfaces and groups do not make rapid collective choices between two food sources. Collective behaviour in M. menapis thus appears to be based on aggregation on collectively produced silk to facilitate feeding, as well as using this silk to maintain cohesion. Silk production is common in caterpillars, although M. menapis appears to be unique among species studied so far in using silk to maintain group cohesion. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society

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@ARTICLE { DesplandSantacruzEndara2016,
    AUTHOR = { Despland, E. and Santacruz Endara, P. },
    TITLE = { Silk drives aggregation and following in the neotropical caterpillar Mechanitis menapis (Nymphalidae: Ithomiini) },
    JOURNAL = { Physiological Entomology },
    YEAR = { 2016 },
    VOLUME = { 41 },
    NUMBER = { 3 },
    PAGES = { 274-280 },
    NOTE = { cited By 0 },
    ABSTRACT = { Gregarious larvae that use chemical communication to feed and move together are widespread among folivorous insects, although social behaviour has been studied almost exclusively in a few temperate zone genera. The Menapis (or variable) tigerwing butterfly Mechanitis menapis mantineus Hewitson (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Danainae, Ithomiini) is a neotropical species whose larvae feed gregariously on Solanaceae host plants. In laboratory experiments conducted in the Ecuador cloud forest, M. menapis caterpillars are attracted to silk produced by conspecifics and show no evidence of pheromone production. Indeed, caterpillars consistently choose arenas with silk over bare arenas but do not show a preference for arenas marked with abdominal cuticular surface residues. Mechanitis menapis caterpillars on silk-coated plants are both more mobile and more cohesive than those on control plants. Nonetheless, caterpillars move independently over unmarked surfaces and groups do not make rapid collective choices between two food sources. Collective behaviour in M. menapis thus appears to be based on aggregation on collectively produced silk to facilitate feeding, as well as using this silk to maintain cohesion. Silk production is common in caterpillars, although M. menapis appears to be unique among species studied so far in using silk to maintain group cohesion. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society },
    AUTHOR_KEYWORDS = { Caterpillars; gregarious; group-living; Ithomiini; silk; sociality; trail-following },
    DOCUMENT_TYPE = { Article },
    DOI = { 10.1111/phen.12153 },
    KEYWORDS = { Danainae; Hexapoda; Ithomiini; Lepidoptera; Mechanitis; Nymphalidae; Solanaceae },
    SOURCE = { Scopus },
    URL = { https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84976531958&partnerID=40&md5=314d422d2e01cac4e5fc2cb4857363a8 },
}

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