Large White butterfly
© Giuseppe Andrea Mosca (CC BY-NC)
The deposition of eggs by insect pests has been shown to trigger the release of chemical signals from plants, attracting species to assist the plant in resisting attack. This is a valuable tool in the plant’s defences as it is initiated at the first sign of the pest, even before feeding has begun. The research was carried out on Black Mustard (Brassica nigra), a relative of cabbage, and the Large White, also known as the Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris brassicae). The eggs of this butterfly trigger specific volatile compounds, called oviposition-induced plant volatiles (OIPVs), to be released from Black Mustard.
These volatiles were found to attract two parasitic wasps: Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata. Read more of this post