Larvae of the noctuid moth Bellura obliqua are frequently encountered on Typha latifolia, but less commonly on Typha angustifolia. Experiments were conducted to compare the growth and survivorship of early B. obliqua instars on the two species of cattail. In short-term growth chamber experiments there were no significant differences in the survivorship, relative growth rate (RGR), relative consumption rate (RCR), or the efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) between first-instar larvae reared on leaves of the two species. Third-instar larvae fed stems, however, had a greater RGR and higher ECI when reared on T. lalifolia. Differences in growth are apparently not related to differences in hostplant nitrogen or acid-detergent fiber content. In a long term greenhouse experiment, using transplanted cattails, larvae reared on T. latifolia grew somewhat larger and had a significantly higher survival rate than those reared on T. angustifolia. Host plant structure is postulated to influence larval survivorship. Typha is under consideration for use as a bio-energy crop and planting T. angustifolia may help to reduce infestations in cultivated stands.
Penko, J. M. and Pratt, D. C.
"The Growth and Survival of Early Instars of Bellura Obliqua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Typha Latifolia and Typha Angustifolia,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 19
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol19/iss1/6