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Interspecific and intraspecific effects of the mandibular gland secretion of larvae of the indian meal moth plodia interpunctella



Interspecific and intraspecific effects of the mandibular gland secretion of larvae of the indian meal moth plodia interpunctella



Physiological Entomology 5(2): 165-174



The effects of the mandibular gland secretion of larvae of P. interpunctella (Huebner) on the behavior of conspecific larvae and on its parasitoid, Nemeritis canescens (Gravenhorst) were studied in open chambers and in an olfactometer. The secretion is deposited in the form of droplets on the silk while it is being spun, and as irregular patches on the substratum. Plodia larvae presented with a choice between fresh food and food contaminated with mandibular gland secretion chose fresh food. Those provided with contaminated food only, chose this in preference to starvation. The secretion also caused attraction and stimulation of oviposition movements in female Nemeritis, leading to increased parasitization. The stimulatory effect of the droplets was persistent and detectable after storage for at least 5 yr at room temperature as well as at 4.degree. C or -7.degree. C. Chemical analysis indicated the presence of 2 components, the major with an Rf value of 0.6 (empirical formula C24H40O4), and the other with an Rf value of 0.8 (empirical formula C22H38O3).

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