Behavioural and chemical mechanisms of plant-mediated deterrence and attraction among frugivorous insects

Adam R. Zeilinger, Dawn M. Olson, Dan Maclean, Naoki Mori, Ryu Nakata, David A. Andow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


1. Herbivory often induces systemic plant responses that affect the host choice of subsequent herbivores, either deterring or attracting them, with implications for the performance of both herbivore and host plant. Combining measures of herbivore movement and consumption can efficiently provide insights into the induced plant responses that are most important for determining choice behaviour. 2. The preferences of two frugivorous stink bug species, Nezara viridula and Euschistus servus between cotton plants left undamaged or damaged by Helicoverpa zea and Heliothis virescens larvae were investigated. A novel consumer movement model was used to investigate if attraction rates or leaving rates determined preferences. Stink bug consumption rates were measured using salivary sheath flanges. Finally, the systemic induction of selected phenolic-based and terpenoid secondary metabolites were measured from heliothine herbivory on developing cotton bolls, to investigate if they explained stink bug feeding responses. 3. Heliothine herbivory did not affect the N. viridula feeding preference. However, we found opposing effects of H. zea and H. virescens herbivory on the behaviour of E. servus. Avoidance of H. zea-damaged plants is not obviously related to phenolic or terpenoid induction in cotton bolls; whereas a preference for H. virescens-damaged plants may be related to reductions in chlorogenic acid in boll carpel walls. 4. The present results highlight the inferential power of measuring both consumer movement and consumption in preference experiments and combining behavioural responses with phytochemical responses. Furthermore, while plant-mediated interactions among herbivorous insects are well studied, interactions among frugivorous species specifically have been poorly documented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Competition
  • Consumer choice
  • Facilitation
  • Gossypol
  • Induced resistance
  • Induced susceptibility
  • Noctuidae
  • Pentatomidae

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