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2010 | 58 | 1 |
Tytuł artykułu

Does the behaviour of spruce caterpillars improve the effect of their crypticity?

Warianty tytułu
Języki publikacji
Cryptic green caterpillars of Thera variata and Pungeleria capreolaria and brown caterpillars of Peribatodes secundarius, Eupithecia tantillaria and Hylaea fasciaria (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) were studied. The question was if these caterpillars could improve the effect of their crypticity by selecting for their diurnal roosting a specific place on their host plant – Norway spruce (Picea abies). We observed the preference for background type, preference for upper or undersurface, and preference for illuminated or shaded part of background. We found that the caterpillars chose special sites on their host plants. Very similar green caterpillars of T. variata and P. capreolaria roosted most frequently on the undersurface of fresh green spruce twigs (twigs with living needles). Brown caterpillars also roosted mostly on fresh twigs. P. secundarius preferred twig undersurface, while E. tantillaria roosted most often on the upper surface of twigs. Larvae of H. fasciaria did not prefer either the upper surface or undersurface of twigs. Comparing with the other studied species, they roosted more frequently on brown sprigs of fresh green twigs. We conclude that caterpillars could improve their mimicking of the particular parts of their host plant by the selection of their roosting position: larvae of T. variata and P. capreolaria imitate green needles, P. secundarius thin twigs, E. tantillaria dry needles captured among green needles on a living twig, and H. fasciaria thicker sprigs.
Opis fizyczny
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