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    Author(s): Kailen A. Mooney
    Date: 2003
    Source: Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 57(1): 47-53.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    Larvae of Promylea lunigerella glendella Dyar (Pyralidae, Phycitinae) feed on Arceuthohium vaginatum susp. Cryptopodum (Hawks,) (Viscaceae), the Southwestern dwarf mistletoe, a parasite of Pinus ponderosa (Laws.) scopulorllm (Pinaceae) at the Manitou Experimental Forest, U.S.D.A. Rocky Mountain Research Station, Woodland Park, Colorado, A previous food plant record for P. lunigerella describes the larvae as feeding on a variety of conifers. A careful evaluation of this record suggests it is reliable, and I conclude that P. lunigerella is actively shifting between dwarf mistletoe and conifer feeding, or has done 50 recently. My review of the literature on food plant use by lepidopteran herbivores of dwarf mistletoe and their relatives suggests that food plant shifts between parasitic plants and their hosts, and vice versa, have occurred multiple times and may be common among taxa that feed on parasitic and parasitized plants. These findings support a model of food plant shifting in which the close proximity necessarily maintained by parasitic plants and their hosts provides an ecological opportunity that facilitates food plant shifts between these taxonomically and chemically very dissimilar plants, Finally, I describe the life history of P. lunigerella larvae and compare them to those of Oasypyga altemosqllamella Ragonot (Pyralidae), a closely related phycitine that also feeds on dwarf mistletoe at this same location.

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    Mooney, Kailen A. 2003. Promylea lunigerella glendella Dyar (Pyralidae) feeds on both conifers and parasitic dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.): One example of food plant shifting between parasitic plants and their hosts. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 57(1): 47-53.


    Mitoura (Lycaenidae), Filatirna natalis (Gelechiidae), Chionodes (Gelechiidae), Euthalia (Nymphalidae)

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