Nathan Rank

Sonoma State University

Natural enemies and host plant use
Host preference and larval performance (Page 4 of 5)

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Experimental results

  • Both beetles strongly prefer salicylate rich over salicylate poor willows.
  • Larval growth was not related to salicylate content in California, but it was in Finland.
  • Larvae did not usually survive longer on salicylate-rich willows.

  • Both beetles consistently prefer salicylate-rich over salicylate-poor willows.
  • Preference in the laboratory is closely related to beetle abundance in the field.
  • These results supported the prediction that beetles should prefer salicylate-rich hosts.
  • In California, larvae grew equally well on four willow species that differed in salicylate content.
  • In Finland, larvae grew fastest on the species that they prefer to eat, S. myrsinifolia, and they grew most slowly on the salicylate-poor S. phylicifolia.
  • Growth rates in the field were consistent with growth in the laboratory.


Larval growth on three Finnish willows: Salix myrsinifolia, S. pentandra, and S. phylicifolia.


Larval survival on two Californian willow species.
  • In California, C. aeneicollis larvae usually survived equally well on salicylate-rich and on salicylate-poor willows.
  • Larval survival was related to the water content of the leaves. Water contents were unusually low during this period, which coincided with the California drought.


Larval survival on three Finnish willow species.
  • In Finland, P. vitellinae larval survival was not related to host plant salicylate content.
  • Larval survival was lowest on the salicylate-rich species S. pentandra.

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January 23, 1999 NER