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Title Colonization of two Nothofagus species by Lepidoptera in southern Britain.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Welch, R C (Colin)
Greatorex-Davies, J N (Nick)
Publication 1993
Subjects T09053d2; CEH staff publication;
Abstract Between 1975 and 1982 a study was made of the invertebrate fauna colonizing two deciduous species of southern beech, Nothofagus obliqua and N. procera, introduced into Britain from South America. Special attention was paid to the folivorous larvae of Lepidoptera which were sampled at 15 localities in southern England, mostly in Forestry Commission trial plots and arboreta in Gloucestershire. The literature describing the native insect fauna of Nothofagus in Chile and Argentina is briefly reviewed. Mention is also made of the few previous records of lepidopterous larvae observed feeding on Nothofagus in Britain. The larvae of 81 species Lepidoptera are recorded from Nothofagus. Seventy-eight of these were feeding on the foliage, of which 73 were found on N. procera and 62 on N. obliqua, although approximately 62 per cent of all the larvae collected were from N. obliqua. Faunal differences between the sites studied are briefly described. Two additional species of cutworm larvae are also reported attacking the roots of Nothofagus seedlings. The changing lepidopterous fauna on Nothofagus from May until September is described and discussed. Spring-feeding larvae of Operophtera brumata (L.), Agriopis aurantiaria (Hubn.) and Erannis defoliaria (Clerck) comprised 55 per cent of all larvae collected on the two hosts, and represented between 68 per cent and 87 per cent of those larvae in beating samples collected in late May and early June. Most of the larvae collected were reared to adult in the laboratory on a diet of Nothofagus leaves. The majority of these are regarded as polyphagus species although 64 are known to have one of the two native Quercus as a host-plant, while 24 have been recorded as feeding on Fagus sylvatica. The relevance of these two genera as sources for the Lepidoptera fauna colonizing Nothofagus is discussed. Nothofagus obliqua and N. procera are shown to have acquired a substantial lepidopterous fauna since their introduction into Britain near the beg
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