David Dussourd, Ph.D



LSC 130


Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, 1986

Started at UCA in 1991

Dussourd CV


Courses Taught:

Animal Behavior

Principles of Biology II


Research Interests:

The Dussourd lab studies insect ecology, behavior, and the intriguing interactions between insects and plants.  The major focus of our research is on insect counteradaptations to plant defenses.  We are particularly interested in plant defenses stored within elongate canal systems such as latex or resin canals.  Insects feeding on these plants commonly sever leaf veins or transect leaves with trenches thereby depressurizing the canals and preventing the influx of latex or resin into their prospective feeding site.  We use insect behaviors as a probe for understanding plant defenses and for isolating plant chemicals potentially useful in pest control.  In previous studies, we have worked with butterflies and moths (caterpillars and adults), beetles, katydids, aphids, slugs, and spiders, and a diverse assortment of plants that include wildflowers (milkweeds, cardinal flower), crops (lettuce, cucumber, parsley, fig, papaya, cassava), and trees (oaks, pecan, birch).

Our broader interests include the fields of plant-animal interactions, entomology, behavioral ecology, and chemical ecology.  Students interested in undergraduate or graduate research in these areas are encouraged to contact David Dussourd at dussourd@uca.edu  or 501-450-5921.

Selected Publications:

Dussourd DE. 2022. Salivary surprise: Symmerista caterpillars anoint petioles with red saliva after clipping leaves. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265490.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265490.

Trejo BK, Gifford ME, Dussourd DE. 2021. Energetic cost of girdling in a notodontid caterpillar, Oedemasia leptinoides. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 15: 161-170. doi.org/10.1007/s11829-021-09805-9

Dussourd DE. 2021. Does secretory canal architecture dictate the sabotage behaviors of insect folivores? Arthropod-Plant Interactions 15: 71–81. doi.org/10.1007/s11829-020-09798-x

Dussourd DE, Van Valkenburg M, Rajan K, Wagner DL. 2019. A notodontid novelty: Theroa zethus caterpillars use behavior and anti-predator weaponry to disarm host plants. PLOS ONE 14(7): e0218994. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218994

Dussourd DE. 2017. Behavioral sabotage of plant defenses by insect folivores. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 62: 15-34

Dussourd DE, Peiffer M, Felton GW. 2016. Chew and spit: Tree-feeding notodontid caterpillars anoint girdles with saliva.  Arthropod-Plant Interactions 10(2): 143-150. doi 10.1007/s11829-016-9416-1

Dussourd DE. 2015. Theroa zethus caterpillars use acid secretion of anti-predator gland to deactivate plant defense. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141924. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141924
Hurley KW, Dussourd DE. 2015. Toxic geranium trichomes trigger vein cutting by soybean loopers, Chrysodeixis includens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Arthropod-plant interactions 9(1): 33-43. doi 10.1007/s11829-014-9348-6