Behavior and oviposition preferences of a black-veined white, Aporia crataegi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)

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J. Jugovic *
A. Kržič
(*) Corresponding Author:
J. Jugovic | jure.jugovic@upr.si

Abstract

We studied the behavior and oviposition preferences in Aporia crataegi. The study was conducted in a network of dry karst meadows with hedgerows consisted mainly of host plants (Crataegus monogyna; Prunus spinosa, Prunus mahaleb, Rosa sp.) between them. We recorded 15 different behaviours that we divided into six categories: (1) behaviours connected to flight (9 different behaviors), resting (2 behaviors); and (3) feeding, (4) courtship, (5) copula and (6) oviposition with one behaviour each. Males proved to spend most of their time on wings patrolling, while females were more sedentary, but still actively flying and searching for nectar sources and oviposition sites. Differences in behaviour between the sexes were less prominent during the morning but increased during the midday and afternoon, as the males became more active but females were resting and feeding more, probably after searching for host plants and egg-laying earlier in the day. Most commonly, C. monogyna was chosen for oviposition by females, but we found a single oviposition site on P. mahaleb as well. Females lay their eggs in clusters of an average size (AVG±SD/SE) of 34.4±12.8/2.05 eggs, and from a single to up to seven oviposition sites were recorded per host plant. Since the number of eggs in each recorded plant with four or more oviposition sites exceeded an upper limit of eggs laid by a single female reported in literature, females either can lay more eggs or more than one female chose the same host plant. Occupied host plants had similar characteristics as the ones occupied with larvae; females preferably choose smaller shrubs, exposed to the sun with a high percentage (>50%) of a leaf litter coverage underneath them.


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