Eurasian journal of forest research;Vol.15-1


Larval Morphology and Feeding Behavior in Notodontidae (Lepidoptera) in Relation to Leaf Toughness of Host Plants

Yoshida, Kunikichi;Murakami, Masashi

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KEYWORDS : allometry;body size;head;mandible;plant-insect interaction


The relationship between larval body size traits of herbivores and the leaf toughness of their host plant species was evaluated by examining the data from 30 notodontid (Notodontidae) species and 10 host plant species. For last instar larvae, higher allocations to the head parts and the mandibles relative to their body sizes were observed, when the larvae feed on tougher host plants leaves. On the other hand, none of relationships of relative allocation to body parts in relation to the leaf toughness of their hosts was observed for first instar larvae. These results showed that the last instar larvae feeding on tougher leaves tend to have the larger-size body, in particular, head and mandible parts. Furthermore, substantial changes in mandibular morphology from first to last instar larvae were detected on Rabtala cristata, which might be a response to seasonal increase in leaf toughness of the host plant. These results show that the quality of host plant species had major roles to determine the morphological changes attributing allometric relations between body size traits for herbivorous insects.