THOMAS E. PLISKE's research while affiliated with University of Miami and other places

Publications (12)

Article
Adult male Ithomiinae feed at plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Certain species secrete on hairs of the costal fringe, a specialized organ on their hindwings, a novel -lactone structurally related to the unusual branched-chain acids that are unique to these alkaloids.
Article
The plantHeliotropium indicum L. (Boraginaceae) contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. When dried, it is a powerful attractant for male ithomiine and danaine butterflies, which congregate and feed at its dead shoots. The butterflies use alkaloids derived from the plants for the formation of chemicals with pheromone/allomone activity. Baiting with alkalo...
Article
Male ithomiine butterflies are attracted to various plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids where they congregate and feed. Volatile “esterifying acids“ liberated from alkaloids in rotting plant tissue provide males the olfactory cue for locating plants. The “hairpencil“ glands of males in certain genera contain a lactone structurally similar to...
Article
Certain plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids attract numerous Lepidoptera (Danainae, Ithomiinae, Ctenuchidae, Arctiidae) which congregate on dead shoots and inflorescences to feed. In many species, visitors are nearly all males. It is established that male Ithomiinae and Danainae ingest alkaloidal precursors for sex pheromones. Various parts o...
Article
Various plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) are visited by Lepidoptera, which congregate on dead stems, seeds, and foliage to feed. Most visitors to PA-plants belong to the nymphalid subfamilies Ithomiinae and Danainae and the moth families Ctenuchidae and Arctiidae. Ninety-six percent of ithomiines and danaines caught feeding at PA-plan...
Article
Observations in the field and in a flight cage reveal that the courtship of the monarch butterfly consists of an aerial phase and a ground phase, each composed of several behavioral components. These include “nudging“ by the male, aerial pursuit, aerial “hairpencilling,“ aerial takedown of the female, antennal palpation by the male, copulation, and...
Article
MALE butterflies of the nymphalid subfamily Danainae possess pheromone disseminating organs (hairpencils) the secretions of which function as female flight arrestants or aphrodisiacs1,2 and in some case as female attractants1. The hairpencil secretions of a number of Danaid species contain dihydropyrrolizine derivatives3-8 which are obtained from p...
Article
Queen butterflies do not mate until the male has brushed the tufts of his scented, abdominal ”hairpencils„ over the female's head and antennae. The trichogen cells located at the base of each hairpencil are secretory. Presumably, these cells produce the sex pheromone necessary for mating. The liquid secretion must move from a central, microvillus-l...
Article
The caterpillars of butterflies of the family Papilionidae possess a defensive gland, the osmeterium, consisting of an eversible 2-pronged invagination of the neck membrane. When disturbed, the larvae extrude the gland and attempt to wipe it against the offending agent. The secretion, which visibly coats the everted gland and is usually strongly od...
Article
Males of the queen butterfly Danaus gilippus berenice, deprived of the two extrusible brushlike "hairpencils" at the rear of their abdomen, are capable of courting females but incapable of seducing them. In normal courtship, an aphrodisiac secretion associated with the hairpencils is transferred by way of tiny cuticular "dust" particles to the ante...

Citations

... Yes, it definitely is. In contrast to other milkweed butterflies, D. plexippus (and perhaps its two closest relatives, Danaus erippus and Danaus cleophile) does not employ PA-derived pheromones (Meinwald et al., 1968;Edgar et al., 1971Edgar et al., , 1973 and displays a forced copulation strategy (Pliske, 1975b;Boppré, 1993;Brower et al., 2007), very different from the courtship of queens (Brower et al., 1965). Due to lack of data, it is not fully understood in which circumstances males court and when they engage in forced copulation. ...
... Adults sequester PAs from several plant sources. Evidence suggests that monarchs do not demand high concentrations of PAs, as populations vary considerably in this regard (Meinwald et al. 1968(Meinwald et al. , 1969. In some populations, adults do not have PAs in their body tissues (Edgar et al. 1976), and they do not depend on this specialized compound to mate (Pliske 1975a). ...
... The larval osmeterium (Figure 9) is coated with the strongly smelling chemicals isobutyric and 2-methyl butyric acids (Eisner et al. 1970). When disturbed, larvae extrude the osmeterium and smear the offender with the chemicals. ...
... Actualmente, la subfamilia está divida en cuatro tribus: Lithosiini, Amerilini, Syntomini y Arctiini (Zenker et al., 2016). De los cuales, Arctiini y Amerilini presentan especies con farmacofagia, es decir, ingieren compuestos químicos con fines no nutritivos, por ejemplo, los adultos consumen alcaloides pirrolizidínicos (PAs) para producir feromonas y mejorar el éxito del apareamiento (Pliske, 1975;Boppré, 1984Boppré, , 1990Zaspel et al., 2014). Estos compuestos químicos se encuentran en partes marchitas de algunas familias de plantas como Heliotropiaceae, Apocynaceae y Fabaceae (Bull et al., 1968), es por ello que el empleo de plantas secas de Heliotropium sp. ...
... Butterflies use a variety of visual and chemical cues to identify the opposite sex during courtship [29][30][31]. Most butterflies first use visual signals to distinguish females and males and then use chemical signals to differentiate them further [31][32][33]. Our results indicated that chemical cues are precise information to recognize the opposite sex in the near distance during courtship. ...
... Flowers are part of the 'grocery shop' that, like larval hostplant resources, are needed for survival and/or development of the individual. While PA-pharmacophagy must be separated from gathering nectar in general, there are some PA-plants (e.g., several species of Eupatorium) with PAs in their nectar, and these seem preferably if not exclusively pollinated by PA-insects (Pliske, 1975c;see Masters, 1991). Compared to PAs in plant tissue, PAs in nectar are more readily accessible because Lepidoptera can imbibe them more easily, as they do not have to invest time and effort in dissolving the alkaloids before ingestion. ...
... One notable sex difference was that males exhibited many differences among mimicry complexes in size-adjusted thoracic diameter and thoracic mass compared with females. This suggests males and females have responded differently to selection for mimicry, balancing constraints for other aspects of their biology such as courtship (Pliske 1975;Edgar et al. 1976) or abdomen mass related to fecundity (Srygley and Chai 1990;Marden and Chai 1991), with selection for close mimetic resemblance. ...
... This protection may prevent the loss of pheromones when males are not actively engaged in courtship (Kristensen & Simonsen, 2003). The androconial scales may have "pheromone transfer particles" on their surfaces (Boppré & Vane-Wright, 1989;Pliske & Salpeter, 1971;Sellier, 1972), which are usually produced in odoriferous glands and are responsible for detected odors (Rauser & Rutowski, 2003;Rutowski, 1980;Scoble, 1992;Tinbergen et al., 1942). The glands were morphologically described by Barth (1959) and Wasserthal and Wasserthal (1977) and show similarities to other insects' epidermal secretory cells (Noirot & Quennedey, 1974). ...
... One diverse tribe of diurnal butterflies with particular reliance on olfactory cues is the Ithomiini. Ithomiines utilize derivatives of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) for both chemical defense and intraspecific communication (Pliske 1975a;Pliske 1975b;Pliske et al. 1976;Brown 1984). PAs are sequestered from particular species of plants at the adult stage, with males being significantly more attracted and motivated by these resources than females (Pliske 1975a;Pliske 1975b;Brown 1984). ...
... One notable sex difference was that males exhibited many differences among mimicry complexes in size-adjusted thoracic diameter and thoracic mass compared with females. This suggests males and females have responded differently to selection for mimicry, balancing constraints for other aspects of their biology such as courtship (Pliske 1975;Edgar et al. 1976) or abdomen mass related to fecundity (Srygley and Chai 1990;Marden and Chai 1991), with selection for close mimetic resemblance. ...