When defense backfires: detrimental effect of a plant's protective trichomes on an insect beneficial to the plant.

Abstract

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 plant. The adaptive benefit provided by the trichomes is evidently offset by a cost.

Cite this paper

@article{Eisner1998WhenDB, title={When defense backfires: detrimental effect of a plant's protective trichomes on an insect beneficial to the plant.}, author={T Eisner and M Eisner and E R Hoebeke}, journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America}, year={1998}, volume={95 8}, pages={4410-4} }