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Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Population-Growth Potential of Epiphyas-Postvittana, the Lightbrown Apple Moth (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae) in Relation to Diet, Temperature and Climate

W Danthanarayana, H Gu and S Ashley

Australian Journal of Zoology 43(4) 381 - 394
Published: 1995


Life-history parameters and developmental rates of Epiphyas postvittana were determined for four natural food plants and Shorey's diet at each of six temperatures. The rate of development of larvae and the life-history parameters were influenced by both temperature and diet. The highest r(m) value was given by populations feeding on Plantago lanceolata, followed by those on Shorey's diet and Rumex crispus, all at 25 . 2 degrees C, then by Malus pumila at 19 . 9 degrees C and Trifolium repense at 25 . 2 degrees C. Zero population growth occurred at 7 . 1 and 30 . 7 degrees C. A life-table study of five geographical strains of the moth under non-variable conditions (constant temperature and artificial diet) showed that finite rate of increase (lambda) was significantly correlated with climatic features of habitats, viz. mean annual Values of temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. Peak values of lambda occurred at cooler temperatures, moderate levels of habitat moisture and high altitudes (500-1000 m); the Canberra population gave the highest value (lambda = 1 . 157), followed by Armidale (lambda = 1 . 152), Melbourne (lambda = 1 . 141), Mildura (lambda = 1 . 135) and Auckland (lambda = 1 . 118). Higher performance of E. postvittana on herbaceous plants than on woody plants suggests that it primarily evolved as a feeder on herbaceous plants.

© CSIRO 1995

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