The Consumption and Utilization of Leaves of Host Plants in Fifth Instars of Bunaea Alcinoe Stoll [ Lepidoptera Saturniidae]



The palatability of most host plants of the Niger Delta edible moth larvae, Bunaea alcinoe, the Saturnid moth larvae account for the defoliation and skeletonization of tender stems, leaves and fruits plants. Also the nutrient compositions of such plants attracted the gravid female moths to oviposit on plants of preference. All instars were voracious feeders especially the first four instars. B. alcinoe larvae were exposed to two host plants which they attach both in rainy and dry seasons. Fifty grams of fresh leaves of Terminalia catappa and Gmelina arborea were respectively offered to thirty fifth instar larvae in the laboratory at 27.5OC and 88.5%Rh in order to assess their consumption and digestibility indices as well as their efficiency of conversion digested food into body matter. There were no significant differences in their consumption indices, though significant differences occurred in their approximate digestibility and in their efficiency of conversion of digested food into body matter.

Keywords: Bunaea alcinoe, Leaf consumption, digestion and Food conversion, host plants.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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