Parsonsia straminea (APOCYNACEAE); Common silkpod, monkey rope vine

Image: Habit
Image: Foliage
Image: Pods (spent)
Image: Flowers
Image: Leaves (undersurfaces with bugs)
Image: Growing through Jacaranda trunk
Image: Seed pods with silk
Image: Leaves with blotchy variagation
Image: Leaf closeup

Image: Habit

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
Parsonsia straminea is a climber (vine) with opposite leaves, watery-milky sap. Climbs by means of roots which form sporadically along the stem of the plant which grip the trunk. Widespread and common in most types of rainforest and sclerophyll forest north from Mt Dromedary, NSW.

Ring-tailed Possums nest in older vines. Leaves are food for Blue Tiger, Tellervo zoilus (NYMPHALIDAE) and Common Crow Butterfly. Lepticoris spp (Soapberry Bugs) opportunistically feed on the nectar.

Image: Foliage

unidentified
Photo: Derek Boddington
Juvenile leaves are much smaller than the adult leaves and are purplish underneath. Adult foliage can be dark green, light green, or variagated by means of blotches.

Lower surface paler, veins finely reticulate and raised on both surfaces, especially in dried leaves.

The stems grow to considerable diameter (over 10cm) and the vine can climb up to 40 m into the canopy. The vines live to great age and are capable of pulling down trees.

Image: Pods (spent)Back to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Derek Boddington
The seed capsule is a linear pod, to 20 cm long by 10 mm wide. Seeds have a plume of several long silky hairs to help their dispersal. Common in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest in eastern New South Wales and Queensland.

Image: FlowersBack to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Derek Boddington
The small pale yellow, fragrant flowers are borne in panicles at the ends of the stems or in the leaf axils. Individual flowers are pubescent, with a tube 3 mm long and 5 spreading or recurved lobes 4 mm long.

Image: Leaves (undersurfaces with bugs)Back to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
Monkey Rope with nymphs of Lygaeidae bugs (Milkweed bugs). These bugs are possibly capable of feeding on this species, or hey may be just resting there, out of range of some predators.

Listed as using this plant as host are:

Arocatus rusticus (Stål, 1866) [LYGAEIDAE]
Scopiastes bicolor Distant, 1901 [LYGAEIDAE]
Arocatus aenescens Stål, 1874 [LYGAEIDAE]
Thunbergia augur (Stål, 1865) [LYGAEIDAE]
Oncopeltus (Oncopeltus) sordidus (Dallas, 1852) [LYGAEIDAE]

Peter Chew has found Large Squash Bugs (Clown Bugs - COREIDAE) on Parsonsia at Eight Mile Plains.

PENTATOMOMORPHA Host-Taxon Associations (DEH)

Image: Growing through Jacaranda trunkBack to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
This rather strange photo shows a Parsonsia vine growing straight through the centre of the trunk of a Jacaranda.

Apocynaceae: Family name for the dogbane family; from the Greek apo (away from or away with) and kuon (dog) Pronunciation: a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ay


Image: Seed pods with silkBack to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
This photograph was taken on Enoggera Creek in The Gap, Brisbane, where this Parsonsia straminea was growing on a Casuarina sp. The pods have split and the silk is escaping. At this time Of year surrounding sporting fields are covered with silk.

Image: Leaves with blotchy variagationBack to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
The leaf size and colour are quite variable. They are smaller and usually purple underneath on younger vines. This photograph was taken on Enoggera Creek near the Enoggera Reservoir in a patch of remnant dry rainforest.

Image: Leaf closeupBack to top

Parsonsia straminea
Photo: Robert Whyte
Foraging and vein-cutting behaviour of Euploea core corinna (W. S. Macleay) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) caterpillars feeding on latex-bearing leaves (Anthony R Clarke and Myron P Zalucki
Abstract)

Caterpillars of Euploea core corinna (W. S. Macleay) sever leaf veins prior to feeding on their latex-bearing host plants, which restricts the flow of latex at feeding sites. The severing of leaf veins by insects feeding on latex-bearing plants is commonly referred to as 'sabotaging' and is thought to be an evolved response by the insect to counter the negative effects of feeding on latex-rich leaves. Sabotaging behaviour is described for all instars of E. core corinna, with particular attention given to neonates. Vein cutting by neonate E. core corinna caterpillars can occur within 2 h of hatching, with most caterpillars establishing feeding sites within 10 h. Commonly, first instars cut an arc-shaped row of leaf side-veins parallel to the leaf margin, but they may also cut the leaf mid-rib in a fashion similar to older instar larvae. From a sample of 50 E. core corinna larvae, representing all instars, we found that the diameters of the veins cut by caterpillars are closely correlated to larval head width (r = 0.90). Through manipulative experiments, we demonstrate for the first time that sabotaging behaviour in neonate caterpillars imposes no detectable short-term physiological costs on those caterpillars.

Australian Journal of Entomology
Volume 39 Page 283 - October 2000
doi:10.1046/j.1440-6055.2000.00191.x
Volume 39 Issue 4

Foraging and vein-cutting behaviour of Euploea core corinna