Article

Activity of fruit‐piercing moths, Eudocima spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in north Queensland crops: Some effects of fruit type, locality and season

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Abstract

Fruit-piercing moth activity was assessed in lychee or carambola crops on the wet tropical coast and on the dry tropical tablelands of north-eastern Queensland between 1985 and 1993. Monitoring occurred at fruiting, from 30 min after sundown for 1 h by systematically inspecting orchard trees under torchlight. Six species were recorded: Eudocima fullonia (Clerck), Eudocima jordani (Holland), Eudocima materna (L.), Eudocima salaminia (Cramer), Eudocima aurantia (Moore) and Eudocima cocalus (Cramer). Moths were detected between November and August, with activity lowest during the driest months (July–October) when fruit availability also decreased. Most annual variation in moth numbers occurred at the beginning of the wet season (November–December) when lychees cropped. The principal species recorded at all three sites on both fruit types between November and mid-March was E. fullonia. It represented 95.5% of the moths on coastal lychees. During autumn, the major species in carambola crops were E. jordani on the coast and E. materna on the tablelands (where total activity was only about half that in the coastal crop). Over all sampling years, 77.9% of all moths caught on coastal fruit were males, compared to 51.4% on tableland fruit. Of the female moths dissected from all sites, 77.7% contained spermatophores and fully developed eggs. An assessment of moth activity through a single night (19.00–05.00 h) in coastal carambolas showed that 72.9% of all moths arrived before midnight. The results indicate that there are opportunities in tableland areas for fruit production during the dry season without the need for control measures.

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... High abundance of Eudocima phalonia populations is problematic for many fruit crops [7,27,28,32,37,39,54]. Nearly 100 fruit species (both cultivated and wild ones) are a potential source of food for this species [43]. ...
... Climatic conditions and fruit availability can both strongly influence population abundance [8,30,31]. In most countries, the species is seasonal and populations are more abundant during the wet season [7,8,16,22,23,25,33,39,54,76,106,107]. The only cited exception is for Malaysia, where the species' activity is greater during the dry season [30,31], but the concept of the dry season in an equatorial climate is relative. ...
... The only cited exception is for Malaysia, where the species' activity is greater during the dry season [30,31], but the concept of the dry season in an equatorial climate is relative. Outside the wet favorable season, moths are rarely observed [16,33] and larvae and imagines are very difficult to find [16,54]. However, moths can also be active on fruits later in the fruit production season [34,108]. ...
Article
Full-text available
When referring to fruit-piercing moths, the genus Eudocima, and more specifically Eudocima phalonia (Linneaus), is cited as a worldwide crop pest. Damages associated with this pest are substantial on more than 100 fruit species, wherever it is encountered. In New Caledonia, the once occasional pest has become a serious threat to the current fruit arboriculture. Particularly devastating during outbreak periods, it has become an urgent need to find a suitable solution able to support farmers in the ecological transition of our agricultural models. This review proposes a synthesis of the existing data and publications on E. phalonia, worldwide and especially in New Caledonia, with recent observations. The assessment of this knowledge and the dynamics of the species in the territory of New Caledonia provide key information for a better prospect of adapted solutions.
... The Dot-underwing moth, Eudocima materna (Linnaeus, 1767), is a large ($90 mm wing span) fruit-piercing moth with an extensive range that includes Africa, the South Palaearctic, the Indo-Australian regions and the Central Pacific. The adult moths are nocturnal feeders, showing peak foraging activities just before midnight and are well known for causing extensive damage to fruit crops [6]. The species is strongly sexually dimorphic; males feature three dark patches on the brown dorsal forewing that change in size depending on the angle of the wing relative to the viewer ( Figure 1A; see also Video S1), while in females, the whole surface of the dorsal forewing gradually darkens with changing angle (Figures 1B, S2A, and S2B). ...
... Unfortunately, the reproductive behavior of the Eudocima genus investigated here remains largely unknown. Males tend to be more abundant in the early evening, with mating thought to occur from around midnight [6]. The limited angular visibility of the males' wing patches allows us to predict that the structure-induced black patch effect can be maximized for a given viewing direction, when changes in patterning primarily result from variation in male orientation with respect to the viewer. ...
... Flash stimuli are known to evoke a super-normal visual response in butterflies [5] and could function to increase the conspicuousness and attractiveness of the visual signal [17]. The dynamic stimulus would be particularly effective under directional lighting, which is more likely in the arid habitats that are preferred by E. materna [6], although we note that the angle-dependent effects also operate under diffuse lighting conditions. ...
Article
The wings of butterflies and moths generate some of the most spectacular visual displays observed in nature [1-3]. Particularly striking effects are seen when light interferes with nanostructure materials in the wing scales, generating bright, directional colors that often serve as dynamic visual signals [4]. Structural coloration is not known in night-flying Lepidoptera, yet here we show a highly unusual form of wing coloration in a nocturnal, sexually dimorphic moth, Eudocima materna (Noctuidae). Males feature three dark wing patches on the dorsal forewings, and the apparent size of these patches strongly varies depending on the angle of the wing to the viewer. These optical special effects are generated using specialized wing scales that are tilted on the wing and behave like mirrors. At near-normal incidence of light, these "mirror scales" act as thin-film reflectors to produce a sparkly effect, but when light is incident at ∼20°-30° from normal, the reflectance spectrum is dominated by the diffuse scattering of the underlying, black melanin-containing scales, causing a shape-shifting effect. The strong sexual dimorphism in the arrangement and architecture of the scale nanostructures suggests that these patterns might function for sexual signaling. Flickering of the male's wings would yield a flashing, supernormal visual stimulus [5] to a viewer located 20°-30° away from the vertical, while being invisible to a viewer directly above the animal. Our findings reveal a novel use of structural coloration in nature that yields a dynamic, time-dependent achromatic optical signal that may be optimized for visual signaling in dim light.
... Pachygone ledermannii 1 (Fay and Halfpapp 1993b) Pachygone longifolia 1, 2 (Fay and Halfpapp 1993b) Pachygone ovata 1 (Fay and Halfpapp 1993b) Pachygone sp. 1 (Fay 1996) papaya or papaw (Carica papaya) (CIE 1977, Cochereau 1977, Bänziger 1982, Maddison 1982, Kumar and Lal 1983, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Fay and Halfpapp 1993b, Kessing and Mau 1993, Zhang 1994, Lubulwa and McMeniman 1998 , Fay 1994 snake vine 1 (Tinospora smilacina) (Baptist 1944, Bänziger 1982, Fay and Halfpapp 1993b, Fay 1994, Sands and Chan 1996, Fay and Halfpapp 1999, Herbison-Evans and Crossley 2005 Hosts References snake vine 1, 2 (Stephania japonica var. discolor) (Fay and Halfpapp 1993b) soursop (Annona muricata) (Cochereau 1977) southern japonica 1 (Stephania japonica) (Bänziger 1982, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Brancatini 1991, Fay and Halfpapp 1993b, Sands et al. 1993, Fay 1994 Stephania bancroftii 1, 2 (Fay and Halfpapp 1993b) Stephania dinklagei 1 (Hargreaves 1936, Bänziger 1982 Stephania harveyanum 1, 2 (Fay 1994) Stephania hernandiaefolia 1 (Baptist 1944) ...
... The true economic impact of E. fullonia can be difficult to measure, especially when this moth occurs in mixed populations with other Eudocima species (Fay and Halfpapp 1999). Eudocima fullonia can comprise nearly 90% of moths (average of 81.4% on carambolas, and 95.1% on lychees, respectively) causing damage to fruit. ...
... References Australia (Hargreaves 1936, Baptist 1944, Shiraki 1952, Comstock 1963, Cochereau 1977, Kalshoven and Van Der Laan 1981, Bänziger 1982, Maddison 1982, Kessing and Mau 1993, Fay 1996 Halfpapp 1993b, 1999) Australia (Queensland -north) Halfpapp 1993a, Fay 1994, Herbison-Evans and Crossley 2005) Australia (Queensland -southeast) (Fay 1994, Sands et al. 1996, Fay and Halfpapp 1999) Australia (Queensland) (CIE 1977, Cochereau 1977, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Fay and Halfpapp 1993b, Zhang 1994, Sands et al. 1996 ) Fiji (Hargreaves 1936, Baptist 1944, Comstock 1963, Maddison 1982, Bänziger 1987, Commission 1987, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Broe 1991, Sands et al. 1993, Zhang 1994, Fay 1996, Sands et al. 1996, Lubulwa and McMeniman 1998, Bhumannavar and Viraktamath 2001b, CABI/EPPO 2001 (Hargreaves 1936, Comstock 1963, Waterhouse and Norris 1987) Indonesia (Irian Jaya or West Irian or Papua Barat) (CIE 1977, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, CABI/EPPO 2001 Indonesia (Java) (Hargreaves 1936, CIE 1977, CABI/EPPO 2001 ) (CIE 1977) South Africa (Hargreaves 1936) Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (Baptist 1944, Cochereau 1977, Bänziger 1982, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Zhang 1994, Fay and Halfpapp 1999 (Hargreaves 1936, Comstock 1963, CIE 1977, Bänziger 1982, Commission 1987, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Broe 1991, Fay and Halfpapp 1993a, Kessing and Mau 1993, Fay 1994, Zhang 1994, CABI/EPPO 2001 (Bänziger 1987) Togo (Zilli and Hogenes 2002) Tonga (Comstock 1963, CIE 1977, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Broe 1991, Sands et al. 1993, Zhang 1994, Sands et al. 1996, Lubulwa and McMeniman 1998, CABI/EPPO 2001 (Heu 1988, Hara and Matayoshi 1989, Kessing and Mau 1993 United States of America (Hawaii) (Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Broe 1991, Sands et al. 1993, Zhang 1994, Sands and Chan 1996, CABI/EPPO 2001, Herbison-Evans and Crossley 2005 Vanuatu (Anatom, Santo, Ambryn, Mallicolo, Pentecôte) (Cochereau 1977) Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides) (Comstock 1963, CIE 1977, Commission 1987, Waterhouse and Norris 1987, Sands and Broe 1991, Sands et al. 1993, Zhang 1994, CABI/EPPO 2001 ...
... Many of the species studied are pests and have often been observed only under laboratory conditions (e.g. Edwards 1962;Delisle et al. 1998;Fay and Halfpapp 1999;Saito 2000aSaito , 2000b. As Janzen (1984) argued from field evidence in regard to Saturniidae and Sphingidae, the pattern of appearance of species at light may depend on several factors. ...
... For example, he noticed that males and females or young and old individuals behave differently, and individual species are prone to confounding factors such as migratory events, availability of virgin females, weather conditions and distance between larval host plant and light sources. Available data on individual species show a great variability in diurnal flight patterns, for example: Hepialus fusconebulosa (DeGeer 1778) (Hepialidae) flew at dusk, and 80% of individuals were caught during the first 90 min of the night (Mikkola 1972); both sexes of Creatonotos transiens (Walker 1855) (Arctiidae) started their activity rather abruptly at twilight and flew more or less exclusively during the first 3 h after dusk (Wunderer and De Kramer 1989); Lambdina fiscellaria (Guenée 1858) (Geometridae) flew mainly in the middle of the night, but differences were detected between sexes and among nights at different temperatures (Delisle et al. 1998); Eudocima fullonia (Clerck 1874) (Noctuidae) occurred at light traps differentially between sexes, males occurring mainly before midnight while females occurred uniformly throughout the entire night (Fay and Halfpapp 1999). ...
... In order to establish the most informative period for moth sampling, similarity and diversity analyses were carried out on subsets of data obtained from each study site during (1) one out of the four surveyed hours, (2) two successive hours, i.e. from the first to the second, from the second to the third and from the third to the fourth, (3) three successive hours, i.e. from the first to the third and from the second to the fourth, and (4) the whole 4-h sampling session. Although often important in studies devoted to individual species (Janzen 1984;Delisle et al. 1998;Fay and Halfpapp 1999), the sex ratio was not used in the present work because of difficulty in assessing this in the field on live caught individuals before release. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we establish the best period for sampling moth communities within the first half of the night. We stress the importance of sampling duration in ecological studies that use moths as an indicator taxon, because sample composition changes throughout the night due to individual species flight behaviour. A total of 20,744 individuals belonging to 562 species were analysed using diversity and similarity indices. Between-site sub sample comparisons were found to have low discriminant ability when they included the first hour of the night. Moreover, the moth community sampled at this time showed a low identity with other sampled portions of the same community, probably because generalist species were present in all the four surveyed sites at this time. In order to minimise sampling bias, we suggest using three hour-long surveys when the first hour after dusk is included in the sample, using Fisher’s α for diversity ranking when different sampling durations are used at different sites.
... In field situations involving softer fruits and many fruit-piercing species, damage can be especially difficult to attribute because softer fruits are easier to pierce (more species can act as primary fruit piercers; e.g., Bänziger 1982). However, in harder fruits, which can only be pierced by a smaller group of moths, species which cause principal damage to the crop can be more easily identified (Bänziger 1982, Fay andHalfpapp 1999a). Ripe fruit which is still attached to the tree is preferred, especially by primary piercers, to fruit which is picked or has fallen on the ground (Bäziger 1982, Kumar and Lal 1983, Fay 2002, Leong and Kueh 2011. ...
... While several parasitoid species are known to attack eggs and caterpillars of Eudocima moths across the known range (Waterhouse and Norris 1987), efforts to establish biological control in the Pacific are ongoing (Sands and Liebregts 2005), and in Australia parasitoid activity during the wet season is insufficient to keep populations of fruit-piercing moths beneath economic injury levels (Fay 1995, Fay 2002. The development of pheromone attractants is another control option which is being explored; long-term monitoring of fruit-piercing moth activity in Australian lychee and carambola orchards indicates that over twothirds of feeding moths are males (Fay and Halfpapp 1999a). Female sex pheromones have been synthesized for Oraesia excavata Butler (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Japan (Ohmasa et al. 1991), but compounds for Eudocima spp. ...
Article
Full-text available
The pest status of insects in agricultural settings is human-defined based on behaviors that may negatively impact the yield of susceptible crops. As such, both the insect behavior and the affected crop play a part in determining pest status. One helpful means of understanding pest status involves using pest injury guilds, which distinguish different pest groups based on similar kinds of injury to comparable plant tissues. Pest injury guilds defined in the literature are reviewed and then applied to agriculturally significant Lepidoptera. More specialized Lepidoptera behaviors which are economically relevant, such as leaf-rolling or stem-boring, are examined within their respective injury guilds. In this review, fruit-piercing moths are discussed within the context of pest Lepidoptera behaviors and are highlighted due to their unique means of causing economic damage. Unlike other Lepidoptera in agricultural settings, fruit-piercing moths are harmful as adults rather than larvae, and directly injure fruits using a specially adapted proboscis. The ecology and systematics of fruit-piercing moths, as well as current control options, are also discussed.
... Fruit-piercing moths attack a range of fruit including mango, carambola, citrus, mangosteen and stonefruit, as well as litchi and longan, throughout South-east Asia, the South Pacific and Australia (Banziger, 1982;Fay and Halfpapp, 1993). The species that cause most damage in Australia are Eudocima (Othreis) fullonia (Clerck), E. salaminia (Cramer) (Plate 45) and E. jordani (Holland) (Fay and Halfpapp, 1999), while in China, Oraesia emarginata Fabricius is one of a number of species that damage litchis. ...
Chapter
Litchi and the related fruit longan are grown extensively in China and South East Asia, as well as in Australia, Florida (USA), southern Europe and southern Africa. This book represents the only comprehensive balanced and internationally focused publication on these fruits. It covers all aspects of production, from taxonomy and breeding to propagation, flowering and fruit set, diseases, pests and postharvest storage and processing.
... Fruit-piercing moths attack a range of fruit including mango, carambola, citrus, mangosteen and stonefruit, as well as litchi and longan, throughout South-east Asia, the South Pacific and Australia (Banziger, 1982;Fay and Halfpapp, 1993). The species that cause most damage in Australia are Eudocima (Othreis) fullonia (Clerck), E. salaminia (Cramer) (Plate 45) and E. jordani (Holland) (Fay and Halfpapp, 1999), while in China, Oraesia emarginata Fabricius is one of a number of species that damage litchis. ...
Chapter
Litchi and the related fruit longan are grown extensively in China and South East Asia, as well as in Australia, Florida (USA), southern Europe and southern Africa. This book represents the only comprehensive balanced and internationally focused publication on these fruits. It covers all aspects of production, from taxonomy and breeding to propagation, flowering and fruit set, diseases, pests and postharvest storage and processing.
Article
Article
Published and unpublished information on fruitpiercing moths (Eudocima spp.) and fruitspotting bugs (Amblypelta spp.) is presented to highlight the difficulties in managing these insects in Australia, where there is an ongoing emphasis on the reduced use of broad-spectrum insecticides in tree fruit production. These important polyphagous pests of tree crops possess piercing mouthparts which enable them to penetrate the skin or rind of most fruit, the damage resulting in lost crop or unmarketable product. Between them, fruitpiercing moths (FPM) and fruitspotting bugs (FSB) feed on around 40 different cultivated fruits or nuts, and crop losses greater than 50% have been attributed to each on occasions. Control of FPM with insecticides is difficult, and so alternative methods have been sought to combat these pests. Netting trees and bagging fruits can be totally effective, but are not economical options for most crops unless other significant pests (e.g. birds, flying foxes) are controlled too. Light protection systems can reduce damage by 60-70%, while a new baiting system has provided 75-85% protection in citrus trials. FSB have traditionally been controlled with prophylactic applications of endosulfan, but restrictions on the use of this chemical and a greater reliance on crop scouting have resulted in a general reduction in insecticide use. Further rationalisation may occur if it can be shown that fruit loss due to bug damage does not increase that resulting from natural thinning. While some work on biological control of both pests has been undertaken, future research could also focus on sex pheromones, plant attractants and novel insecticidal or repellent compounds.
Article
Fruit-piercing moths are significant pests of a range of fruit crops throughout much of the world's tropics and subtropics. Feeding damage by the adult moths is most widely reported in varieties of citrus. In the years 2003 and 2004, fruit-piercing moth activity was observed regularly at night in citrus crops in northeast Australia, to determine the level of maturity (based on rind colour) and soundness of fruit attacked. 'Navelina' navel and 'Washington' navel orange, grapefruit and mixed citrus crops were assessed, and fruit was rated and placed into five categories: green, colouring, ripe, overripe and damaged. There were no statistical differences in the percentage of fruit attacked in each category across crops. However, within the individual crops significant proportions of green 'Navelina' fruit (58.7%) and green mixed citrus (57.1%) were attacked in 2004. Among all the crops assessed, 25.1% of moth feeding occurred on overripe or damaged fruit. Crops started to be attacked at least 8 weeks before picking, but in two crops there were large influxes of moths (reaching 27 and 35 moths/100 trees, respectively) immediately before harvest. Moth activity was most intense between late February and late March. Eudocima fullonia (Clerck) represented 79.1% of all moths recorded on fruit, with Eudocima materna (L.), Eudocima salaminia (Cramer) and Serrodes campana (Guen.) the only other species observed capable of inflicting primary damage. Our results suggest that growers should monitor moth activity from 8 weeks before harvest and consider remedial action if moth numbers increase substantially as the crop matures or there is a history of moth problems. The number of fruit pickings could be increased to progressively remove ripe fruit or early harvest of the entire crop contemplated if late influxes of moths are known.
Article
Two compounds were isolated, as sex pheromone components, from the abdominal tips of the female fruit-piercing moth, Oraesia excavata (BUTLER). The major component A was identified as cis-9, 10-epoxy-(Z)-6-heneicosene. The minor component B was tentatively characterized as cis-9, 10-epoxy-(Z, Z)-3, 6-heneicosadiene. They were found in a ratio of 86:14 in female tip extracts. Natural components A and B in the natural ratio released male precopulatory behaviors including orientation flight and extension of clasper, but they showed weak pheromone activities when applied separately. In contrast, synthesized racemic component A, with and without synthetic component B (in ratios from 85:15 to 100:0), elicited a typical male precopulatory behavior. Synthetic component b alone did not initiate male response.
Article
Three habitats, each containing a different form (rainforest, coastal and dry tropics) of the twining vine Tinospora smilacina, and a fourth with two of these forms were routinely sampled between 1986 and 1989 for larvae of fruitpiercing moths, to ascertain spatial and temporal utilization of this plant. Othreis fullonia and Othreis materna occurred on all forms in all habitats, predominantly between November and March for the former and January to June for the latter. Although Rhytia cocalus utilized two forms of T. smilacina it preferred the rainforest habitat to which Othreis jordani and Khadira aurantia were essentially confined. While the degree of cohabitation between any two moth species was greatest in the drier inland habitat, where only O. materna and O. fullonia occurred during a limited season, there was considerable temporal separation of any two species utilizing T. smilacina in any habitat. Field and laboratory evaluation of alternative menisperm hosts suggested O. fullonia, O. jordani and K. aurantia were generalists while O. materna and R. cocalus confined their feeding to the genus Tinospora. The differential habitat affinities and host plant acceptance of these moths are pertinent to their variable seasonal activity, local importance and general pest status.
Article
Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) and carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) fruit, either attacked by fruitpiercing moths or undamaged, were compared on a number of occasions for weight, moisture percentage, softness, colour, ¦Brix, and pH, to profile fruit susceptibility in North Queensland. Height at which fruit were damaged on a tree and the tree's position in an orchard were also considered. On average 88.8% of moths inflicting damage to all fruit were Othreis fullonia (Clerck). In both crops, fruit in outer rows were more prone to attack than elsewhere in an orchard, indicating that orchard layout, trap crops, and attractive baits could all be considered to counteract these pests. No other characteristic differed significantly (P>0.05) between damaged and adjacent undamaged lychees. In damaged lychees, ¦Brix ranged from 11.0 to 22.8 and pH varied from 3.3 to 4.8. Highly significant (P<0.001) differences in fruit weight, colour, ¦Brix, and pH were recorded between damaged and undamaged carambolas; riper fruit were attacked on any individual occasion. Total soluble solids ranged from 5.2 to 11.8 ¦Brix in damaged carambolas and pH varied from 2.5 to 4.4. Some comparisons between cultivars were undertaken in each crop.
Article
The durations for development for immature stages of the fruit piercing moth, Eudocima salaminia (Cramer), were determined at constant temperatures ranging from 15°C to 27°C and at ambient temperatures at a field site in southeastern Queensland over a 16 month period. At constant temperatures average heat requirements for: 50% eclosion of eggs were 62.4 day-degrees above 11°C, development of larvae to pupation were 246 day-degrees above 12°C, development of pupae to eclosion were 233 day-degrees above 12°C. For each stage there was no difference between day-degrees calculated at constant temperatures or at those in the field indicating no diapause in the immature stages. For adults, temperatures below 16°C during the activity period after dusk prevented feeding, mating and oviposition. Failure of E. salaminia to overwinter in south-eastern Australia in most years, was explained by the effects of low temperatures on egg hatch, larval, pupal and adult survival, reduced adult feeding, mating and cessation of oviposition.
Article
The fruit-piercing moth, Othreis fullonia (Clerck) (Noctuidae) is a serious pest of tropical and subtropical fruit in parts of Southeast Asia, Australia and in the Pacific (Waterhouse & Norris, 1987). Both sexes of adult moths pierce the skin of ripening fruit with their proboscis to withdraw juice (Sands & Schotz, 1991). In Australia and Southeast Asia the larvae of O. fullonia feed exclusively on forest vines belonging to the family Menispermaceae (Fay, 1994; Bänziger, 1982). However, in Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and other islands of the western Pacific, the larvae of O. fullonia feed on several species of Erythrina (Fabaceae) as well as menisperm vines when both plants are present (Waterhouse & Norris, 1987).
Article
The acceptability of three widely distributed Australian Menispermaceae,Tinospora smilacina Benth.,Sarcopetalum harveyanum F. Muell. andStephania japonica (Thunb.) Miers, as food for larvae of the fruitpiercing moth,Othreis fullonia (Clerck), was examined in three laboratory experiments. When larvae were presented with plant species individually total development times were shortest onT. smilacina and longest onS. japonica, despite relatively similar consumption rates within most instars.T. smilacina elicited greater (P<0.05) relative growth rates thanS. japonica in all instars except the 6th. In the second experiment, when larvae were allowed to select from each of the 3 plants, noS. japonica was chosen by 1 st instars and it represented only 3.7% of food consumed by 2nd instars. Significantly moreT. smilacina was eaten in each instar thanS. japonica, and more thanS. harveyanum except in the 2nd and 4th instars. The final experiment examined the abilities of larvae to switch hosts when forced after the 1st and 3rd instars. After the first or second food change largest average headcapsule widths were associated with feeding onT. smilacina as the most recent food. Feeding by final instars onT. smilacina also resulted in the shortest development time and highest puparial weights. While some larvae survived irrespective of plant sequence 83.3% of the recorded mortality occurred while larvae were exposed toS. japonica, principally during the 1st instar. These experiments lend support to field observations which suggest thatT. smilacina is a major host ofO. fullonia whileS. japonica is notS. harveyanum is probably an important alternate host whenT. smilacina is scarce.
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