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: Activities that Lepidomys larvae performed during shelter building were categorized as follows. First, caterpillars moved around the leaf before they began the building process. Most caterpillars (14 out of 21) visited at least two leaves before starting the trenching process, but some visited as many as seven leaves before choosing their preferred leaf. Caterpillars chose leaves that were 12 cm long and wide in both July and September. During July, selected leaves were significantly larger than the average available leaves (width: χ12 = 6.71, P = 0.0096, n = 108; petiole width: χ12 = 8.56, P = 0.0034, n = 108). In September, selected leaves did not differ from those available (width: χ12 = 0.59, P = 0.44, n = 148; petiole width: χ12 = 0.029, P = 0.87, n = 148). Available leaves were smaller in July than in the rest of the season (width: χ32 = 278.4, P < 0.0001, n = 3084; petiole width: χ32 = 21.2, P = 0.0001, n = 3083), as shown in Figure 7; however, the size of the leaves chosen to build shelters did not differ significantly between July and September (width: F = 0.69, P = 0.41, n = 132; petiole width: F = 2.71, P = 0.10, n = 132).
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.