Changes in feeding habit as caterpillars grow
Version of Record online: 14 MAR 2008
Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 339–344, August 1991
How to Cite
GASTON, K. J., REAVEY, D. and VALLADARES, G. R. (1991), Changes in feeding habit as caterpillars grow. Ecological Entomology, 16: 339–344. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.1991.tb00225.x
- Issue online: 14 MAR 2008
- Version of Record online: 14 MAR 2008
- Accepted 8 October 1990
- life histories;
- body size;
- caterpillar behaviour
- 1200 of 1137 species of British microlepidoptera make a single marked change in feeding habit as they grow.
- 2Most numerous are species that change from leaf mining to one of case bearing, spinning, tying and rolling or concealed feeding, and species that change from concealed feeding to case bearing or spinning, tying and rolling.
- 3Although in some instances numbers of closely related species make similar changes in behaviour, most changes observed are scattered among subfamilies.
- 4Leaf miners have considerably smaller adults than concealed feeders, which themselves are smaller than external feeders and spinners, tiers and rollers. When case bearers are excluded from the analyses, species that remain as leaf miners or concealed feeders throughout larval development are on average smaller as adults than those that start out with these feeding habits but later change.
- 5We suggest a number of reasons why larvae might make such fundamental switches.