Letter | Published:

Storage of cannabinoids by Arctia caja and Zonocerus elegans fed on chemically distinct strains of Cannabis sativa

Naturevolume 266pages650651 (1977) | Download Citation



THE larvae of the warningly coloured tiger moth Arctia caja (L.) (Lepidoptera) and the grasshopper Zonocerus elegans (Thunberg) (Acridoidea) are polyphagous feeders with a predilection for poisonous food plants. These species can sequester and store various secondary plant substances such as cardiac glycosides and pyrrolizidine alkaloids1,2, which presumably function as predator deterrents. We report here that cannabinoids ingested with the leaves of Cannabis sativa L. are also stored by both insects.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Rothschild, M. in Insect/Plant Relationships. Symp. R. ent. Soc. Lond. 6 (ed. van Emden, H. F.), 59–83 (Blackwells, Oxford, 1972).

  2. 2

    Bernays, E., Edgar, J. A. & Rothschild, M. J. Zool. Lond. (in the press).

  3. 3

    Fairbairn, J. W. & Liebmann, J. A. J. pharm. Pharmac. 26, 413–419 (1974).

  4. 4

    Fairbairn, J. W. & Liebmann, J. A. J. pharm. Pharmac. 25, 150–155 (1973).

  5. 5

    Maunder, M. J. de Faubert J. pharm. Pharmac. 21, 334–335 (1969).

  6. 6

    Marsh, N. & Rothschild, M. J. Zool. Lond. 174, 89–122 (1974).

  7. 7

    Reichstein, T. Naturwiss. Rdsch. 29, 499–511 (1967).

Download references

Author information


  1. Ashton, Peterborough

  2. School of Pharmacy, Brunswick Square, London, WC1, UK

    • M. G. ROWAN
    •  & J. W. FAIRBAIRN


  1. Search for MIRIAM ROTHSCHILD in:

  2. Search for M. G. ROWAN in:

  3. Search for J. W. FAIRBAIRN in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.