Indian lac insect, Kerria lacca used to settle on the bark of host plants to take the plant sap after penetrating its rostrum. Plants accumulate a great variety of secondary metabolites in their bark tissues possibly to resist herbivorous invaders. Near about hundred plant species are known as host plant of K. lacca. The endoglandular secretion of this insect is a commercial resin commonly known as lac. In the present study data obtained from genomic sequences of 5.8S r DNA have shown that the studied host plants are not taxonomically closely related, though Butea monosperma and Ziziphus jujuba are more close than Schlischeria oleosa. But gas chromatographic analysis reveals the presence of same kind of terpenoid molecules among the studied host plants viz. B. monosperma, Z. jujuba, S. oleosa, as well as in the lac encrustations secreted by lac insect thriving on these host plants. Present study focuses solely on the possibilities of host plant terpenoids as one of the major key factors of host plant selection by K. lacca.
Sondipon Chakraborty, Tanmoy Dutta, Keshav Rai, Joydip Ghosh, Samir Kumar Saha, Suman Biswas, Soumen Bhattacharjee, Chiranjib Pal, Hemanta Chowdhury, Ipsit Chakrabarti, Narayan Ghorai. Preliminary investigation on terpenoids present in the bark of major host plants, and lac-encrustations made by the Indian lac insect Kerria lacca (Kerr.) with respect to host plant selections. J Entomol Zool Stud 2016;4(4):591-594.