Faculté des sciences

Suitability of four families of Florida "bay" species for Papilio palamedes and P. glaucus (Papilionidae)

Scriber, J. Mark ; Margraf, Nicolas ; Wells, Tammy

In: Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 2000, vol. 54, no. 4, p. 131-136

We tested the suitability of four Florida "bay" plant species for larval growth and adult opposition preferences for two swallowtail butterfly species, P. palaniedes and P. glaucus. Much confusion exists about the host plant records for these butterflies in the literature. We confirmed that of the four bay species tested, only red bay (Persea borbonia) of the Lauraceae was... Plus

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    Summary
    We tested the suitability of four Florida "bay" plant species for larval growth and adult opposition preferences for two swallowtail butterfly species, P. palaniedes and P. glaucus. Much confusion exists about the host plant records for these butterflies in the literature. We confirmed that of the four bay species tested, only red bay (Persea borbonia) of the Lauraceae was suitable to support larval survival and growth of P. palamedes. All P. palamedes larvae offered sweethay (Magnolia virffniima of the Magnoliaceae), Loblolly bay (Cordonia lasianthus of the Theaceae) or Southern Bayberry (Mijrica cerifera of the Myricaceae) died as neonates. Conversely, only sweet bay (Magnolia) was suitable for supporting survival ofneonate P. glaucus larvae, with red bay, loblolly bay and bayberry unacceptable or toxic. Oviposition preferences (individually assessed in a revolving four-choice arena) were strongly in favor of the most suitable host for each species: sweet bay received 93.9 of the total P. glaucus eggs and red bay received 54.2 of the total P. palanwdes eggs. The generally low level of adaptation of the Lauraceae specialized spicehush swallowtail, Papilo troilus, to red bay was evident in that all nine Florida females refused to oviposit on any of the four "bays" (including red bay).