Browsing by Subject "moth"

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  • Caterpillar Rearing Group (CRG), LepSoc Africa; Staude, Hermann; MacLean, Marion; Mecenero, Silvia; Pretorius, Rudolph J.; Oberprieler, Rolf G.; van Noort, Simon; Sharp, Allison; Sharp, Ian; Balona, Julio; Bradley, Suncana; Brink, Magriet; Morton, Andrew S.; Bodha, Magda J.; Collins, Steve C.; Grobler, Quartus; Edge, David A.; Williams, Mark C.; Sihvonen, Pasi (2020)
    We present an overview of the known host associations of larval Lepidoptera for southern Africa, based on a database of 11 628 rearings, including all Caterpillar Rearing Group (CRG) records and other published records. Rearings per Lepidoptera family show some bias in the rearing effort towards the more conspicuous families, ectophagous groups and non-detritus-feeders but in general follow species diversity. Recorded Lepidoptera host associations per host family for southern Africa are shown. Data analyses revealed the following general trends: of the 20 most reared species 13 are polyphagous; Fabaceae are the most utilised plant family with 2 122 associations, followed by Asteraceae (600), Malvaceae (564) and Anacardiaceae (476); 98.8 % of hosts are vascular plants; and of the 19 most utilised host species 18 are common trees or shrubs. We discuss possible reasons behind these trends, particularly the high utilisation of Fabaceae and the widespread use of trees and shrubs as hosts. We compare recorded host species numbers with species diversity for the 19 most recorded host families and discuss possible reasons for the low utilisation of four plant families with an exceptionally low percentage of Lepidoptera host species / plant host species diversity. All Lepidoptera families for which more than 100 rearings have been recorded (21 families) utilise one (or two in the case of Pyralidae, Nolidae and Hesperiidae) plant family exponentially more than any of the other families, with resulting histograms forming hyperbolic curves, as are typical of distributions of taxonomic assemblages in nature. We calculate an exponential factor to quantify this phenomenon and show that for all 21 Lepidoptera families one host family is utilised 6–33 times more than the average use of other host families. In this paper, the larvae and adults of 953 African, mostly South African, Lepidoptera species reared by the CRG between January 2016 and June 2019 are illustrated together with pertinent host information. 119 Lepidoptera-parasitoid associations are reported, comprising seven hymenopteran families and one dipteran family. With the current data release, larval host association records are now available for 2 826 Lepidoptera species in the southern African subregion, covering about 25 % of the described fauna.
  • Boulanger-Lapointe, Noemie; Järvinen, Antero; Partanen, Rauni; Herrmann, Thora Martina (2017)
    Annual fluctuations in the abundance of wild berries have repercussions on animals and humans who depend on this important resource. Although studies have tried to disentangle the effect of climate and herbivores on inter-annual berry yield, there are still many uncertainties as to which factors are driving productivity. In this research, we evaluated the effect of climate and predation by rodents and moths on the abundance of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) flowers and berries at the Kilpisjarvi Biological Station in northwest Finnish Lapland. The data were collected from 1973 to 2014 in a forest and an alpine site, both undisturbed by human activities. This dataset is unique due to the length of the sampling period, the availability of flower, berry, and rodent abundance data as well as the undisturbed nature of the habitat. Previous summer temperatures, the abundance of rodents, and the presence of a moth outbreak were complementary factors explaining the abundance of flowers. Herbivores had a larger impact on flower production than climate, but both variables were important to understand reproductive effort. Contrary to results from experimental studies, warmer winters did not significantly influence reproductive success. The abundance of fruits was strongly correlated with pollinator activity; the forest site, with a larger pollinator network, had a higher reproductive success and spring conditions were linked to inter-annual variability in fruit production. Our results illustrate the importance of the location of the population within the species distribution range to understand plant sensitivity to climatic fluctuations with fruit production only influenced by current year summer temperatures at the alpine site. Finally, we observed a general increase in flower and fruit production at the alpine site, which was driven by large yields since the early 1990s. Fruit production at the forest site was comparatively stable throughout the study period.
  • Woestmann, Luisa; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2016)
    The importance of trans-generational effects in shaping an individuals' phenotype and fitness, and consequently even impacting population dynamics is increasingly apparent. Most of the research on trans-generational effects still focuses on plants, mammals, and birds. In the past few years, however, increasing number of studies, especially on maternal effects, have highlighted their importance also in many insect systems. Lepidoptera, specifically butterflies, have been used as model systems for studying the role of phenotypic plasticity within generations. As ectotherms, they are highly sensitive to environmental variation, and indeed many butterflies show adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental conditions. Here, we synthesize what is known about trans-generational effects in Lepidoptera, compile evidence for different environmental cues that are important drivers of trans-generational effects, and point out which offspring traits are mainly impacted. Finally, we emphasize directions for future research that are needed for better understanding of the adaptive nature of trans-generational effects in Lepidoptera in particular, but potentially also in other organisms.