Meeting Abstract

105.4  Saturday, Jan. 7  Ontogenetic and sex specific variation in chemical sequestration by a toxic herbivore FORDYCE, J.A.*; NICE, C.C.; DIMARCO, R.D.; University of Tennessee; Texas State University; University of Tennessee

Many insect herbivores sequester plant secondary compounds that in turn provide them with defense against natural enemies. The pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor L., sequesters aristolochic acids as larvae from their Aristolochia host plants, providing larvae and adults with defenses effective against a broad range of natural enemies. We examined ontogenetic variation in sequestered aristolochic acid content across eggs, six larval instars, pupae, and adults. We find evidence of selective sequestration of non-polar forms of aristolochic acid, and the possible interconversion of aristolochic acids by B. philenor larvae. Further, we find evidence of local adaptation to host plant chemotype and sex specific trade-offs associated with sequestration. We discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of this variation.