Survivorship and growth in the larvae of Luehdorfia japonica feeding on old leaves of Asarum megacalyx


  • Aya HATADA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Conservation Biology, Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science, Tokamachi, Niigata, and
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    • Present address: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan.

  • Kazuma MATSUMOTO

    1. Tama Forest Science Garden, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
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Aya Hatada, 457-4 Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan. Email:


Although the papilionid butterfly Luehdorfia japonica, usually lays eggs on new leaves of the host plant (Asarum sp.; Aristolochiaceae), eggs of the butterfly were frequently found on old leaves of Asarum megacalyx in Suyama, Tokamachi, Niigata prefecture. Larvae hatched on new leaves and those hatched on old leaves did not show significant differences in their survival rate in the field. In laboratory breeding, about 90% of larvae that were fed old leaves survived and developed normally to the pupal stage. Their growth rate, however, was slightly lower than those that were fed new leaves. No nutritional differences were found between the old and new leaves. The reason why oviposition on the old leaves was so frequent and why larvae that hatched on old leaves could survive in the study area is discussed.