Notes on Larval Growth and Efficiences in <i>Antheraea: A. polyphemus</i> and <i>A. pernyi</i> (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae).

  • J. M. Scriber
Keywords: Alaska, Asia, behavior, British Columbia, Canada, China, Fagacez, e, genetics, herbivory, hostplants, Hymenoptera, larvae, Mexico, Missouri, Nearctic, Noctuidae, North America, nutrition, Papilio, Papilionidae, parasitoids, Pennsylvania, Rosaceae, Spodoptera, Trichogrammatidae, USA


Larval growth rates and efficiencies were measured using standard gravimetric techniques for penultimate and final instar North American Antheraea polyphemus and Asian A. pernyi silkmoths to evaluate ecological hypotheses about the physiological adaptations of these two species. Contrary to expectations, the oak-feeding specialist, A. pernyi did not grow more efficiently nor more rapidly than the polyphagous A. polyphemus when fed 5 different Quercus species and Prunus serotina. In fact, the A. polyphemus generally grew more rapidly in spite of the lower nutritional quality (leaf water and nitrogen content) of their food, than was the case for A. pernyi. Several potential explanations are discussed, including body size effects.