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J Chem Ecol. 2002 Mar;28(3):601-15.

Chemical defense in the plant bug Lopidea robiniae (Uhler).

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Behavior Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Section, Illinois State University, Normal 61790, USA.


Secretions from the metathoracic glands (MTG) of the black locust bug, Lopidea robiniae (Uhler) (Heteroptera: Miridae) contained six major compounds, including (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol, (E)-2-octenal, (E)-2-octen-1-ol (E)-2-heptenal, and (Z)-3-octen-1-ol. Males and females did not differ significantly in the relative compositions of identified compounds. In feeding trials, six bird species [robin (Turdus migratorious), blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), starling (Sturnus vulgaris), and house wren (Troglodytes aedon)] demonstrated feeding aversions towards L. robiniae implying that black locust bugs are chemically defended. Bugs discharged the liquid contents of their MTG when attacked, thereby producing a strong and distinct odor. Some birds immediately ejected bugs out of their mouth after biting them, suggesting that the MTG secretion was a deterrent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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