|Title||Facultative monophagy as a consequence of prior feeding experience: behavioral and physiological specialization in Colias philodice larvae|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1989|
Although newly-emerged Colias philodice readily accept Medicago sativa, Melilotus alba, and Coronilla varia, fifth instar larvae reared on any single plant species desplay a highly significant induced feeding preference for their rearing host. Forced host-switching reveals that fifth instar relative growth rate (RGR) on M. sativa and M. alba is significantly reduced by prior feeding on either alternative host. Moreover, regardless of rearing diet, switching to a novel host during the fifth instar results in reduced RGR, relative consumption rate (RCR), efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD), and pupal weight. These results support the hypothesis that induction of feeding preference is an adaptive response that predisposes larvae to feed on the plant species they are most capable of utilizing for growth.