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Neotropical Entomology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-566X

Resumen

SANTANA, AF K  y  ZUCOLOTO, FS. Influence of previous experience on the preference, food utilization and performance of Ascia monuste orseis wild larvae (Godart) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) for three different hosts. Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.6, pp. 631-638. ISSN 1519-566X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2011000600001.

The exhaustion of food resources which occurs during the ontogenetic growth of Ascia monuste orseis (Godart) results in the dispersion of older larvae to nearby plants in order to complete their development, which might expose these animals to the nutritional variation of the hosts found. This study aimed to verify whether the food ingested in the beginning of the development influences the larvae host preference and whether the shift to a new host can affect the digestion and performance of A. monuste orseis, using two natural hosts: kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) and rocket (Eruca sativa), or kale and cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata). Larvae were reared throughout their larval development on a single host or on two different hosts. When a host change was tested, larvae were reared for four instars on a host, and offered the other host plant in the fifth instar. Development time, percentage of pupation and emergence, pupal weight, fecundity and digestive indices were evaluated. The change in feeding preference for kale and for rocket in the fourth instar, when those were the original hosts, respectively, shows that prior experience plays a major role in food preference of immature A. monuste orseis. The shift can be beneficial for larval development, depending on the order of the hosts; in general, larvae fed on kale at the end of the development showed better performance. Our results presented strong evidence of a considerable phenotypic plasticity in A. monuste orseis for host preferences.

Palabras llave : Brassica oleraceae; Brassicaceae; Eruca sativa; feeding behavior; specialist larva.

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