Maria Eisner

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The flower of Hypericum calycinum, which appears uniformly yellow to humans, bears a UV pattern, presumably visible to insects. Two categories of pigments, flavonoids and dearomatized isoprenylated phloroglucinols (DIPs), are responsible for the UV demarcations of this flower. Flavonoids had been shown previously to function as floral UV pigments, but DIPs(More)
The plant Mentzelia pumila (family Loasaceae) has leaves and stems densely covered with tiny hooked trichomes. The structures entrap and kill insects and therefore are most probably protective. But they are also maladaptive in that they incapacitate a coccinellid beetle (Hippodamia convergens) that preys upon an aphid enemy (Macrosiphum mentzeliae) of the(More)
The mint plant, Teucrium marum (family Labiatae), sometimes called cat thyme, contains two methylcyclopentanoid monoterpenes, dolichodial and teucrein. The former compound is potently anti-insectan. It is repellent to ants (Monomorium pharaonis) and induces preening reflexes in flies (Phormia regina) and cockroaches (Periplaneta americana). Evidence is(More)
The arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix is protected against predation by pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that it sequesters as a larva from its food plant. Earlier work had shown that males transmit PA to the female with the sperm package and that the female bestows part of this gift on the eggs, protecting these against predation as a result. We now show that(More)
The bombardier beetle Metrius contractus discharges its defensive secretion as a froth that clings to its body. When attacked from the rear, it allows the froth to build up over the gland openings near the abdominal tip; when attacked from the front, it conveys the secretion forwards along special elytral tracks. M. contractus has two-chambered defensive(More)
The larva of the green lacewing (Ceraeochrysa cubana) (Neuroptera, Chrysopidae) is a natural predator of eggs of Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae), a moth that sequesters pyrrolizidine alkaloids from its larval foodplant (Fabaceae, Crotalaria spp.). Utetheisa eggs are ordinarily endowed with the alkaloid. Alkaloid-free Utetheisa eggs, produced(More)
The opilionid Acanthopachylus aculeatus was shown to produce a defensive secretion containing quinones (2,3-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone, 2,5-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2,3,5-trimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone), confirming the findings reported nearly a half century ago in a classic study. The mechanism by which the opilionid puts the secretion to use is described.(More)
The carabid beetle Galerita lecontei has a pair of abdominal defensive glands that secrete a mixture of formic acid, acetic acid, and lipophilic components (long-chain hydrocarbons and esters). Formic acid, at the concentration of 80%, is the principal constituent. The beetle ejects the secretion as a spray, which it aims accurately toward parts of the body(More)
Insects of the heteropteran families Pentatomidae (stink bugs) and Coreidae (squash bugs), when being eaten by the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes, attract flies of the family Milichiidae. The flies aggregate on the bugs and, as kleptoparasites, share in the spider's meal. Stink bugs and squash bugs typically eject defensive sprays when attacked; they(More)
The defensive glandular apparatus of primitive bombardier beetles of the tribe Crepidogastrini (Carabidae) is described for the first time. As exemplified by two African species (Crepidogaster ambreana and C. atrata), the apparatus conforms to the basic bombardier plan, in that the glands are bicompartmented and the secretion is quinonoid (it contains(More)