cecropia larvae

Oberon118 at aol.com Oberon118 at aol.com
Fri Jun 23 18:59:26 EDT 2000

In a message dated 6/23/00 1:26:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
newtchris at aol.com writes:

<< I find your observations about preffered food trees interesting!!!   I 
 there is a definite region to region and habitat to habitat variation on 
 preferences.  This must be a parent to offspring genetic preference, possibly
 an immune tolerance that is as specific as mamalian vaccine immunity is to
 different strains of measle virus.  Possibly there's a "mothers milk" or
 "colostum" effect. >>

I am enjoying this particular discussion as I have been raising silkmoths in 
my hometown of Johnson City, TN. However, I must disagree that there is a 
parent to offpsring genetic preference. I have found that many of the 
saturniid species I have reared have preferred non-native species of 
foodplants to native ones. Each time I have raised luna, for example, they 
have preferred birch or sweetgum (which do not grow in my region, except as 
ornamentals, as they are in my backyard) to oak, maple, walnut, and other 
published foodplants. Therefore, I think, the parents of my caterpillars 
could not have given their offspring a genetic preference to it. Yet these 
caterpillars, each time I have raised them, have preferred birch or sweetgum 
to native trees. Perhaps there is another reason for their seemingly 
ingrained foodplant preferences. 


More information about the Leps-l mailing list