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Keywords:

  • larval occurrence;
  • larval preference;
  • leaf shelter;
  • Pyralidae;
  • Tortricidae

Abstract

We studied the species composition and life history patterns of shelter-building microlepidoptera on the willow Salix miyabeana in Hokkaido, northern Japan. We identified 23 microlepidopteran species across seven families that constructed leaf shelters. Species in Tortricidae and Pyralidae comprised approximately 90% of the total number of sampled shelter-building microlepidoptera that reached adult eclosion in the laboratory. Seasonal changes in the density of leaf shelters showed two peaks: early June and mid-August. In June, caterpillars of Gypsonoma bifasciata, Gypsonoma ephoropa, Acleris issikii and Saliciphage acharis were the principal shelter builders, while in August shelters were constructed primarily by caterpillars of Nephopterix adelphella, A. issikii and S. acharis. Approximately 90% of leaf shelters were constructed on the top portions of shoots, suggesting that most shelter-building caterpillars prefer to build leaf shelters here.