Fecundity and ovipositional preference of Elophila africalis on Azolla: test for host plant susceptibility.
Oviposition choice, development time, survival and fecundity of the pyralid Elophila africalis were compared on five forms of the aquatic fern Azolla (A. caroliniana ADUL8CA, A. microphylla ADUL69MI, A. pinnata var. imbricata ADUL 133PI and ADUL 137 PI and A. filiculoides ADUL 139FI) in the laboratory at LD 13:11, 30:26°C and 46% RH. When allowed a free choice for oviposition, females showed preferences for ADUL 137 PI and ADUL 133 PI. The substrate on which larvae had been reared did not affect the oviposition choice by the adults. Larvae were able to develop on all the Azolla forms tested. There were no significant differences among the forms in terms of duration of development time. Adult male longevity ranged from 4.5 days to 5.3 days and female longevity from 4.6 days to 6.9 days on the different Azolla forms tested. Most of the eggs were laid in the first 3 days of the adult life. Fecundity of females depended on the Azolla forms on which they had been reared.