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Larva of
Epimecis Hortaria

Biology Department NSF

The primary herbivore in this system is the larva of Epimecis hortaria . Abundance of larvae peaks in late June and in August with two generations per season. E. hortaria is oligophagous and has been observed in other habitats feeding on a limited number of species, including Asimina triloba (pawpaw; family), Sassafras albidum (sassafras; family), and Liriodendrontulipifera (tulip poplar; family); however, at our study sites E. hortaria feeds exclusively on L. benzoin, and we observe little or no herbivory on this host plant by other insects. E. hortaria can be successfully reared in the laboratory through multiple generations on foliage of L. benzoin.


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