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Old 01-29-2010, 11:12 AM   #11
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When I was reading up on butterflies for the Expo, I was surprised at how many plants are hosts. I didn't realise that some butterflies could eat a veritiy of plants. It seemed to me that most (all?) native plants were the host to some kind of butterfly/moth.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by milkweed View Post
When I was reading up on butterflies for the Expo, I was surprised at how many plants are hosts. I didn't realise that some butterflies could eat a veritiy of plants. It seemed to me that most (all?) native plants were the host to some kind of butterfly/moth.
Oak trees are the hosts of 534 lepidoptera (butterflies and moths); black cherry is the host for 456!

Some larvae are 'generalists' meaning they can feed on a variety of native plants. For instance, the Io moth larvae can feed on over 100 different native plants! In my limited experience in raising Io moths, they don't like to switch host plants after they've started feeding on one. The caterpillars we raised were started on black cherry and REFUSED to switch to other host plants. It was really hard to find black cherry into late October, but we did and successfully raised two Io moths!
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