Influence of host foliage on development, survival, fecundity, and oviposition of the spear-marked black moth, Rheumaptera hastata (Lepidoptera: Geometridae).
The results are presented of investigations in the field and laboratory in Alaska on oviposition preference and the effects of the foliage of different food-plants on development, survival and fecundity in Rheumaptera hastata (L.), the most important defoliator of paper birch (Betula papyrifera) there. Females preferred paper birch to other indigenous deciduous trees for oviposition, and the intensity of larval feeding was about 40% higher on birch than on other foliage. Development, survival and fecundity were also better on birch. The larval development rate and survival decreased when foliage from birch trees that had been repeatedly defoliated for 2 and 3 years was provided.