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Journal Article

Adaptation of the Life History of Schinia mitis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to Its Host-Plant, Pyrrhopappus

Faith Blersch Zwick and James R. Estes
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 54, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 416-432
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25084173
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Adaptation of the Life History of Schinia mitis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to Its Host-Plant, Pyrrhopappus
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Abstract

Schinia mitis moths and larvae display exclusive preference for Pyrrhopappus flowering and immature fruiting capitulae as mating and oviposition sites, and food sources. The seasonal cycle and diurnal activity of Schinia mitis coincide with flowering period and anthesis of Pyrrhopappus, respectively. Nectar foraging, mating, and oviposition occur on fully open or closing flowering capitulae. Synchronous mating occurs periodically, possibly resulting from coincident pupal emergence and/or pheromone secretion. Larval development is in synchrony with achene development, thus insuring a constant food supply until larvae mature. Capitular and floral architecture and position of eggs insure emergent larvae will locate Pyrrhopappus achenes. Larvae typically consume all the achenes within a foraged capitulum. After maturing within the capitulum in which they hatch, late instar larvae migrate to other Pyrrhopappus capitulae. Variance in larval infestation rates among P. grandiflorus, P. geiseri and P. carolinianus is not significant, however infestation between and within study sites shows significant variance. Mowed study sites contain moths and eggs, but few larvae. Apparently S. mitis and Pyrrhopappus form a highly coevolved complex.

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