Martinique, Fonds St Denis, Deux Choux, 17-VI-1985
Larva on Crotalaria retusa (Fabaceae) in xerophilic zone and C. incana in mesophilic zone (Ryckewaert).
Guadeloupe and Martinique: common in xerophilic zone.
Marie-Galante, St-Bartholomew, Désirade.
Haiti, Puerto Rico.
Thoughout tropical and subtropical America.
The Genus Utetheisa is a classical model in chemical ecology.
The sex pheromone produced by the female moths has been described (Conner et al., 1980, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 7: 55-63; Jain et al., 1983, J. Org. Chem., 48: 2266-2270.). It consists of:
The female pheromone mediates the attraction at long range of sexual partners.
However, the male moths produce a courship pheromone, emitted by androconia on the abdomen (coremata). This pheromone evokes an acceptance posture on receptive females (Conner et al., 1981, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 9: 227-235). The male pheromone consists of hydroxydanaidal, pyrrolizidine alkaloid synthesized by the insect from precursor alkaloids found in the larval host-plant (monocrotaline and usaramine).