Host Plant Choice in Pieris Butterflies

  • F. S. Chew
  • J. A. A. Renwick


Pieris specificity for crucifers was recorded as early as 1660 by John Ray (Mickel, 1973) and the chemical affinity of glucosinolates produced by plants in the four major Pieris host plant families—Cruciferae, Tropaeolaceae, Capparaceae, and Resedaceae—was established by Guignard in the 1890s [reviewed by Feltwell, 1982]. (Verschaffelt 1910) demonstrated that P. brassicae larvae would feed on paper saturated with plant sap expressed from Bunias orientalis (Cruciferae). Thorsteinson (1953) tested behavioral responses of these larvae to.glucosinolates, and David and Gardiner (1962) showed that Pieris brassicae females would lay eggs on nonhost substrates dipped in glucosinolate solutions. Pieris butterflies thus provided some of the earliest and most compelling evidence for the biochemical mediation of insect-plant associations.


Oviposition Behavior Indole Glucosinolates Oviposition Deterrent Oviposition Stimulant Nonhost Plant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. S. Chew
    • 1
  • J. A. A. Renwick
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Boyce Thompson InstituteIthacaUSA

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