Effect of Coumarin and Related Compounds on Blister Beetle1 Feeding in Sweetchlover2

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The ashgray blister beetle, Epicauta fabricii (LeConte); the striped blister beetle, E. vittata (F.) ; and the margined blister beetle, E. pestifera Werner, collected in the field from plants of sweetclover low in coumarin content, fed preferentially in the laboratory on low-coumarin leaves when offered a choice between leaves from high- and low-coumarin plants. The black blister beetle, E. pennsylvanica (De Geer) , not known to feed on sweet-clover foliage, also fed preferentially in the laboratory on. leaves from low-coumarin plants, although the rate of feeding was much slower than for the other species.

By using appropriate genotypes of sweetclover and controlling the type of light to which the plants were exposed, it was possible to offer the beetles choices among leaves differing greatly in their content of specific coumarin-related compounds. Both cis-o-hydroxycinnamic acid (cis-o-HCA) glucoside and coumarin (the lactone form of cis-oo-HCA) were strong feeding deterrents; trans-o-HCA glucoside had no significant deterring effect.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1972

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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