Potential British Lepidopteran Fauna on Introduced <i>Rhododendron ponticum</i>.


  • J. L. Yela


Acleris, Autographa, Blastobasis, Blastobasidae, Caprifoliaceae, Cosmia, Ditula, ecology, England, Ericaceae, Fagaceae, Geometridae. herbivory, Hymenoptera, introduced plants, larvae, Lymantria, Lymantriidae, Mediterranean, Noctuidae, Orthosia, Palearctic, Peribatodes, Phlogophora, seasonality, Spain, Symphyta, Tortricidae


The potential caterpillar (Lepidoptera) fauna of the introduced woody plant Rhododendron ponticum (Linnaeus) was studied by foliage beating at one locality in Britain over one field season. Only a small number of larvae (n=21), corresponding to 11 species, were found on it, possibly only as incidental feeders. It is probably due to the 'recent' (in terms of geological time) introduction, connected with its taxonomic isolation and distinct chemical and physical leaf features. Two lepidopteran species may have undertaken host range expansion and seem to be using this woody plant as part of their ordinary diet (Ditula angustiorana (Haworth), Tortricidae; Phlogophora meticulosa (Linnaeus), Noctuidae).