Saturniid and Sphingid Caterpillars: Two Ways to Eat Leaves

  title={Saturniid and Sphingid Caterpillars: Two Ways to Eat Leaves},
  author={Elizabeth a. Bernays and Daniel H. Janzen},
We demonstrated allometric differences in relative head mass in different instars of 12 species of Saturniidae and 14 species of Sphingidae. The differences were related to the different ways in which individuals from the two families ate their respective host plants and to the different properties of the hosts that tended to be favored by each lepidopteran family. The saturniids tended to have various simple cutting methods, while the sphingids tore and crushed the food, so that in the former… 

A global food plant dataset for wild silkmoths and hawkmoths and its use in documenting polyphagy of their caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea: Saturniidae, Sphingidae)

A dataset collating more than 26,000 records for 1256 species in 121 (67%) and 167 (81%) genera of Saturniidae and Sphingidae, respectively is used here to document the level of polyphagy of each of these genera using summary statistics, as well as the calculation of apolyphagy score derived from the analysis of Phylogenetic Diversity of the food plants used by the species in each genus.

Does a polyphagous caterpillar have the same gut microbiota when feeding on different species of food plants?

Taking as a whole, the larvae and pupae contained 22 species of cultivable bacteria in 12 genera, and Enterobacter, present in 81.8% of the samples, was the genus most frequently isolated from the caterpillars, followed by Micrococcus and Bacillus.

Comparison of Midgut Bacterial Diversity in Tropical Caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) Fed on Different Diets

Results suggest that microorganisms associated with the tropical caterpillar midgut may engage in symbiotic interactions with these ecologically important insects.


The data suggests an influence of sphingid phylogeny on host plant utilization and the possibility of local host plant adaptation and their potential impact on the use of host plant compilations from different regions are discussed and illustrated.

Biological aspects of Periga circumstans Walker, 1855 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Hemileucinae) with larvae reared on khaki and mate-plant leaves

Several aspects related to the morphology and the ethology of P. circumstans are similar to those described for Lonomia obliqua Walker, 1855.

Biological aspects of Periga circumstans Walker, 1855 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Hemileucinae) with larvae reared on khaki and mate-plant leaves

Several aspects related to the morphology and the ethology of P. circumstans are similar to those described for Lonomia obliqua Walker, 1855, whose larvae were fed on leaves of khaki-plant and Mate-plant leaves.

Possible factors contributing to the exclusion of saturniid caterpillars (mopane worms) from a protected area in Botswana

ummary This paper deals with the local absence of mopane worms, the colloquial name given to caterpillars of the mopane emperor moth Imbrasia belina (Saturniidae), from within the confines of the

Host-specificity of folivorous insects in a moist tropical forest

To assess the degree of herbivore host-specificity in the moist tropical forest on Barro Colourado Island, Panama, an extensive series of feeding trials on the common insect herbivores from 10 tree species found specialists are responsible for most of the insect herbvory.

Distribution and hostplant records for Eupackardia calleta from southeastern Texas with notes on mandibular morphology of Attacini (Saturniidae).

Biological data on E, calleta from southeastern Texas is presented and the mandibular I Address correspondence to this author morphology to other Attacini is compared, with emphaSiS on related nearctic taxa.

Host Specialization in Phytophagous Insects

Investigations of the causes of host specialization in insects could contribute substantially to the understanding of the origin and maintenance of diversity in this group.



A seasonal census of phenolics, fibre and alkaloids in foliage of forest trees in Costa Rica: some factors influencing their distribution and relation to host selection by Sphingidae and Saturniidae

The foliage of 80 species common in the Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, has been analysed for content of total phenolics, condensed tannins, acid detergent fibre and water and it was observed that alkaloids were much more common than phenolics in the foliage of deciduous species.

Diet-Induced Head Allometry Among Foliage-Chewing Insects and Its Importance for Graminivores

Muscular effort increases muscular development in an insect, which in turn has a dramatic morphogenetic effect on head size, which has a direct effect on the ability of the insects to ingest hard foods rapidly: larger heads are adaptive for dealing with hard grasses.

Two ways to be a tropical big moth : Santa Rosa satumiids and sphingids

  • Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology
  • 1984