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Animals with chemical defenses typically exhibit aposematic coloration, or warning coloration. It is common in insects to sequester these toxic chemicals from their host plants. The insect Anisota peigleri, commonly referred to as the yellow striped oakworm (YSO), demonstrates such coloration. The only food for YSO are oak tree leaves. An oak leaf produces a variety of organic compounds, which could include toxic metabolites. Yellow striped oakworms could possibly sequester these metabolites to enhance their defense mechanisms. Therefore, the objective of this research is to determine if YSO is toxic, and if so, if the toxic metabolites are sequestered from the oak leaf or synthesized by the YSO. To determine if the YSO is toxic, gut contents and body fluids were offered to ants along with a 5% sugar solution as control. A high percentage of ants preferred gut contents to either alternative. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was then performed to determine the availability of organic compounds and possible toxic metabolites in the body fluids of YSO. The HPLC test will also be used to determine shared compounds and toxic metabolites between the yellow striped oakworm and the oak leaves. Results would therefore be used to determine if YSO are toxic, and the origin of the toxic metabolites. This research can add to the body of knowledge about animal warning coloration and toxicity.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Robinson Ballroom B

  • Event date
    • 1 April 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Evan Lampert, Paula Nolibos