Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

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Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#1  Postby Kyx » Jul 10, 2017 7:32 pm

Caterpillars are not fussy eaters. They can eat the leaves of plants or turn on each other when food runs out. Tomato plants can switch on this cannibalistic instinct in caterpillars by making their leaves taste foul, finds a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution.


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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#2  Postby theropod » Jul 11, 2017 1:40 am

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#3  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 11, 2017 2:56 am

Am I blind or is there not actually a link to the article in the OP?
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#4  Postby The_Piper » Jul 11, 2017 3:47 am

I don't see a link.
Some caterpillars are specific about what food plants they eat. Paging Cali... :smile:
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#5  Postby tuco » Jul 11, 2017 4:34 am

Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals - http://www.nature.com/news/plants-turn- ... ls-1.22281

7.53 sec
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#6  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 2:56 pm

The title here (also of the linked Nature article) is potentially misleading, because only Spodoptera exigua caterpillars have been studied, not caterpillars generally. Having said that, it is true that the first hatched caterpillars of some butterfly species tend to eat not only their own egg shell, but also any unhatched eggs nearby on the plant, before starting to eat the main course (the plant).
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#7  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 11, 2017 3:10 pm

tuco wrote:Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals - http://www.nature.com/news/plants-turn- ... ls-1.22281

7.53 sec

Thanks!
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#8  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 3:43 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
tuco wrote:Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals - http://www.nature.com/news/plants-turn- ... ls-1.22281

7.53 sec

Thanks!

I take it you like over-simplifications.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#9  Postby tuco » Jul 11, 2017 4:44 pm

Nah, he just cant Google at work.

Induced defences in plants reduce herbivory by increasing cannibalism - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559- ... BLOIxRbeZg

Linked in the article, behind paywall.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#10  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 5:02 pm

tuco wrote:Nah, he just cant Google at work.

Induced defences in plants reduce herbivory by increasing cannibalism - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559- ... BLOIxRbeZg

Linked in the article, behind paywall.

That wasn't my point, since the article you linked was also restricted to a specific pair of plant and insect species, whereas the headline seems to generalise the effect to all insects with caterpillar stages, and therefore all food plants as well. However, this is not even possible. I suspect that most caterpillar species cannot even find each after the first instar, and may not be capable of eating each other if they did, being specalised for eating leaves, often of a specific plant type. (I'm guessing some would try, though, if denied sufficient plant matter).

EDIT: Large blue caterpilars eat ant larvae, so they might turn on each other if they weren't already well separated , and weren't able to find enough ant larvae.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#11  Postby tuco » Jul 11, 2017 5:06 pm

Solanum lycopersicum turn Spodoptera exigua caterpillars into cannibalism.

Happy now?
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#12  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 11, 2017 5:14 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
tuco wrote:Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals - http://www.nature.com/news/plants-turn- ... ls-1.22281

7.53 sec

Thanks!

I take it you like over-simplifications.

I take it you like to assume thing about people.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#13  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 11, 2017 5:18 pm

tuco wrote:Nah, he just cant Google at work.

Why would I not be able to google at work? I just see no point in bothering to search for the source of the info OP is trying to present when the OP knows exactly where it is.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#14  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 5:24 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
tuco wrote:Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals - http://www.nature.com/news/plants-turn- ... ls-1.22281

7.53 sec

Thanks!

I take it you like over-simplifications.

I take it you like to assume thing about people.

I wasn't assuming anything about people, It was your thanking someone for such a poorly worded article. that caused my comment.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#15  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 5:38 pm

The second linked article was much better than the first ("Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals" - yuk!). Interesting that they were both published by the same journal, Nature.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#16  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 5:40 pm

tuco wrote:Solanum lycopersicum turn Spodoptera exigua caterpillars into cannibalism.

Happy now?

Yes, but the point is that that wasn't in the original title.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#17  Postby tuco » Jul 11, 2017 5:41 pm

As long as you are happy, I am. Seriously :)
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#18  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2017 5:43 pm

Kyx wrote:Caterpillars are not fussy eaters. They can eat the leaves of plants or turn on each other when food runs out. Tomato plants can switch on this cannibalistic instinct in caterpillars by making their leaves taste foul, finds a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

...

Correction: SOME caterpillar species are not fussy eaters.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#19  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 11, 2017 6:02 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
Thanks!

I take it you like over-simplifications.

I take it you like to assume thing about people.

I wasn't assuming anything about people, It was your thanking someone for such a poorly worded article. that caused my comment.

You assumed that I've viewed it, and that I liked it. Neither assumption was true. I was just thanking him for taking the time.
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Re: Tomatoes turn caterpillars into cannibals

#20  Postby james1v » Jul 12, 2017 12:48 am

The old saying "You are what you eat" rings true here...Innit. :think:
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