Shelter-building behavior and natural history of two pyralid caterpillars feeding on Piper stipulaceum.
Bottom Line: Shelter-building behavior was found to be constrained by the ontogenetic stage of caterpillars and influenced by leaf size of the host plant, Piper stipulaceum Opiz (Piperales: Piperaceae) .A similar pattern of shelter-building behavior exhibited by Tosale n. sp. near cuprealis larvae that coexisted in the same host plant is also described.Larvae of the second species were significantly less abundant than those of Lepidomys and hatched one month later in the rainy season, which could indicate some competitive interactions between these two pyralid species.
Affiliation: Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México D.F., México Department of Biological Sciences, George Washington University, 2023 G St. NW Suite 340, Washington, D.C., USA email@example.com.Show MeSH
Mentions: The sequence of activities and the time spent performing each of them during the shelterbuilding process is shown in Figure 6. The whole process may last from three to six hours. The duration of step number four (Figure 6), shelter maintenance, is not specified because it includes the rest of the occupation period, which can last up to two weeks. The building process was interrupted by periods of rest; all of these periods were grouped in the resting category. Resting and grooming may occur at any time and interrupt any of the other behaviors. The term grooming is used to designate the caterpillars' action of rubbing their body with their mandibles. Caterpillars may return to the petiole to attach more silk days later if the shelter is unstable. During shelter building, caterpillars spent, on average, 78% of the time on the adaxial face of the leaf (mean ± SEM, 203 min ± 16), 10% on the petiole (32 min ± 5), 8% on the abaxial face (15 min ± 7), and 3% moving on the stems (7 min ± 2). On average, they spent 170.2 ± 15.8 min (n = 20) exposed on the leaf surface before the leaf folded and partially covered them.
Affiliation: Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México D.F., México Department of Biological Sciences, George Washington University, 2023 G St. NW Suite 340, Washington, D.C., USA firstname.lastname@example.org.