Development of larval Lepidoptera herbivores on Pentaclethra macroloba

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Stuart, Tyler
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This research began a project which will complement ongoing research of herbivory on Pentaclethra macroloba , a canopy dominant tree at Estaci?n Biol?gica La Selva, Costa Rica. It focused on saplings of P. macroloba less than 50 cm in height that were still obtaining nutrients from cotyledons. I collected approximately 65 of these saplings from a single soil type, and transplanted them into planting pots to allow growth. For the proposed experimental procedure to take place, all of the saplings must be producing new leaves, and I decided that it may take longer than the time I had in order for the saplings to adjust to the new conditions. The saplings are currently growing in a shade house, where they will remain for at least six months. During this time, I also reared Lepidoptera larvae, which I collected from P. macroloba . This process studied the larval stages of approximately 20 species of butterflies and moths. Once the larvae pupated and enclosed, the adults were then pinned and identified. The primary goal of this was to fill in gaps of the development of herbivores found on P. macroloba . At a later date, once the saplings produce new leaves, an experiment will measure herbivory levels on the saplings by one of the studied Lepidoptera larvae.