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Effects of Short-Term Phenological Changes in Leaf Suitability on the Survivorship, Growth, and Development of Gypsy Moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) Larvae

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In this report we examine the effects of short-term phenological changes in host suitability on the performance of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), larvae. The time frame examined was a 2-wk period during which most gypsy moth larvae hatch and feed in central Maryland. Oak supported high levels of survivorship for almost 2 wk, and beech remained suitable for young larvae for less than 1 wk; hickory and maple were intermediate. Larvae did not respond uniformly to chronological changes in foliage when fed leaves from different tree species. When fed oak, larvae tended to develop more slowly as the season progressed. This trend was less important for hickory. Also, differences in pupal weight were observed for female larvae fed different hosts—oak produced pupae of greater weight; this trend was less pronounced for male larvae. Phenological differences in host suitability may help explain associations of gypsy moth with particular tree species that are commonly observed in the field.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1988

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  • Environmental Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes reports on the interaction of insects with the biological, chemical, and physical aspects of their environment and is divided into the following sections: physiological ecology; chemical ecology; population ecology; quantitative ecology; community and ecosystem ecology; biological control--parasitoids and predators; biological control--microbials; biological control--weeds; behavior; pest management; sampling; plant-insect interactions; molecular ecology and evolution; transgenic plants and insects. In addition to research papers, Environmental Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, and Book Reviews.
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