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Volume 100, Issue 3-4, Pages 209-221

Defensive Regurgitation by a Noctuid Moth Larva (Litoprosopus Futilis)

1Section of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca 14853, NY, USA
2University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1300 University Ave., Madison 53706, WI, USA

Received 19 July 1993

Copyright © 1993 Scott R. Smedley et al.


Larvae of the noctuid moth Litoprosopus futilis regurgitate when disturbed. The oral effluent proved deterrent to ants on nearcontact, and topically irritating in a scratch test with a cockroach. Larvae regurgitated when attacked by lycosid spiders and derived some protection from this behavior. Caterpillars were able to regurgitate even when emerging from the eggs; however, at this stage, they proved vulnerable to attack by chrysopid larvae and ants.