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Oviposition and feeding preference of Acrolepiopsis assectella Zell. (Lep., Acrolepiidae)
- Allison, J., Jenner, W., Cappuccino, N., Mason, P.G.
- Journal of applied entomology 2007 v.131 no.9-10 pp. 690-697
- Acrolepiopsis assectella, Allium porrum, crop damage, host plants, introduced species, larvae, motivation, oviposition, phylogeny, Ontario, Quebec
- The leek moth, Acrolepiopsisassectella (Zell.), is a recently discovered exotic species in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. This Allium spp. (Asparagales, Alliaceae) specialist can cause up to 40% crop damage. A no-choice experiment was used to determine the relationship between oviposition behaviour and larval survival of the leek moth as the phylogenetic distance from the preferred host Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum L. increased. Results indicate that oviposition preference and larval survival of the leek moth declined as the phylogenetic distance from the preferred host increased. These results support the conclusion that the leek moth is a specialist feeder on closely related Allium spp. although the strength of this preference may decline as the motivation to oviposit increases. This may indicate that the leek moth is able to use closely related novel hosts as temporary refuges if the preferred host plant is unavailable.