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Performance of battuspolydamas (Papilionidae: Papilioninae: Troidini) butterfly's larvae in their host plants: the effect of leaf age and of the species of the host plant

Grant number: 14/09094-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Jose Roberto Trigo
Grantee:Julia Cabral Teresa
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Phytophagous insects can be monophagous when concerning their host plants, often completing their larval development in plants of a single genus or even of a single species. Monophagy is found in Lepidoptera and it can be mediated by secondary compounds present in the larvae's host plant. Battuspolydamas (Papilionidae: Papilioninae: Troidini) butterfly's larvae are monophagous, feeding only on plant species of the genus Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae). However, larval performance varies depending on the species of Aristolochia and on the age of the leaves. In this project, we will study the performance of larvae B.polydamas in young and mature leaves of two species of Aristolochia: A. galeatae A.gigantea. We will measure daily mortality, size of the cephalic capsule of each instar, larval stage duration and pupal weight. In addition, we will measure leaf consumption in the first three instars. We will also measure leaf toughness and concentration of diterpenes (a food deterrent for larvae of B. polydamas) in leaves of the two ages for the two species; these measures will be correlated with larval performance.

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