The role of selected plant metabolites in host plant choice by caterpillars of Acrobasis advenella (Zincken, 1818) (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae)

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Acrobasis advenella is an oligophagous species feeding on plants of the Rosaceae family. The differences in concentrations of host plant quality components, above all primary metabolites and the presence or absence of secondary metabolites, directly affects herbivore growth and development. The objectives of this research were to determine the food preferences of 1st instar larvae according to the chemical composition of host plants. The highest acceptance of rowan in the free choice test by 1st instar larvae, as compared to hawthorn and black chokeberry, is positively influenced by the high content of total sugars and phenolic acids. The conclusion to be drawn from the results is that the differences in food choice by 1st instar larvae feeding on fruits could have been due to the different chemical compositions of the fruit.

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