ECOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY OF EUPROCTIS FRATERNA (MOORE) WHEN FED ON LANNEA

ECOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY OF EUPROCTIS FRATERNA (MOORE) WHEN FED ON LANNEA COROMANDELICA (HOUTT.) MERR

D. Suresh Chand and K.P. Sanjayan*
Arunachal Pradesh Research Centre, Zoological Survey of India, Itanagar – 79113.
* G.S. Gill Research Institute, Guru Nanak College, Chennai – 600042.
Abstract:

Lannea coromandelica (Houtt). is a dominant tree of the Nanmagalam Reserve Forest and is frequently defoliated by the Noctuid moth the Hairy caterpillar, Euproctis fraterna (Moore). Studies on the spatial distribution of the tree indicate it to be randomly distributed. Therefore insects preferring to feed on the tree should be ecologically efficient in searching and colonizing on the tree. In quantitative feeding experiments, larvae of E. fraterna (Moore) consumed significantly more of mature leaves than young and senescent leaves of L. Coromandelica. The food consumption increases with increase in age, and accordingly the maximum leaf consumption was recorded by the fifth larval stage. In terms of weight gain there was a sudden increase in weight gain from the 2nd larval to 3rd larval stage. The approximate digestibility, (AD) was found to increase from the 1st to 3rd larval stage. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance (ECI) and the efficiency of conversion of digested food to body substance (ECD) increased during the early larval stages and decreased subsequently.

Keywords: Nanmagalam Reserve, Noctuid moth, Lannea coromandelica, Ecological efficiency, ECI, AD, ECD
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