In the 92 native wild spiny or thorny Asteraceae species in Israel, five types of spiny modules exist: 1) rosette leaves, 2) cauline leaves, 3) wings along the main stem or branches, 4) leaves associated with the inflorescence head, and 5) thorny branches. Per species, up to four of these modules protect shoots and inflorescences against vertebrate herbivores. Of the 92 species, 37 have only one type of spiny module, and 30 of these have spines associated with the inflorescence head; three species have two spiny modules, 30 species have three, and 23 species have four. The most common module protects the inflorescence (84 species). Next follow spiny cauline leaves (58 species), spiny rosette leaves (54 species), spiny wings on stems and branches (23 species), and lastly thorny branches (three species). At least 41 of the 92 spiny species have colorful spines and may be considered aposematic.
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Vol. 136 • No. 1