LIMITATIONS OF HOST PLANT USE IN TWO ANDEAN ALTINOTE (NYMPHALIDAE, HELICONIINEA, ACRAEINI), BUTTERFLIES, FROM A TRITROPHIC PERSPECTIVE.
|Institution:||Wright State University|
|Keywords:||Biology; Ecology; Entomology; Host Plant Use; Insect Herbivores; Altinote; Physiological Efficiency; Enemy-Free-Space; Resource Availability|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=wright1430819995|
Despite the clear advantages of generalist feeding, many insect herbivores feed on a relatively small number of available host plants with in phylogenetically restricted groups. To better understand patterns of host plant use I used the sister species Altinote stratonice and Altinote dicaeus and their overlapping but distinct host plant range. I measured physiological effects of plants by using development time, pupal mass, and survival. To determine the importance of enemies I quantified rates of parasitism and rates of predation. Finally I measured host plant frequency, and host plant abundance. I found that survival of A. dicaeus and A. stratonice was reduced on low quality host plants. Additionally host plant use by A. stratonice was correlated with host plant abundance and host plant use by A. dicaeus was correlated host plant size. Overall patterns of host plant use appeared to be driven by bottom up forces even when enemies present a clear threat.