Objective In this paper, the host preference and selectivity of Perina nuda to different Ficus species were investigated to provide scientific basis for the control of Perina nuda.
Method 4 species of host trees (Ficus macrocarpa, F. altissima, F. benjamina and F. concinna) in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province of southern China were selected to feed P. nuda and the growth, development and feeding amount of P. nuda after feeding on different leaves of banyan were analyzed.
Result There were differences in the larval instars of P. nuda reared by different banyan trees. During larval instar, P. nuda fed on F. microcarpa was 5th to 7th instar, that fed on F. altissima, F. concinna and F. benjamina were 6th to 8th instar. The development period of larval of P. nuda fed on F. benjamina was longest while the shortest period was the P. nuda fed on F. microcarpa. Additionally, body length, body mass and fecal mass of P. nuda larval fed on F. microcarpa were at the top among 4 banyan species. In the meanwhile, the 2nd to 7th instar larvae reared by F. microcarpa had the widest head capsule (the 1st instar larvae fed on F. altissima had the widest head capsule). Besides, the survival rates of P. nuda larvae reared by F. microcarpa and F. altissima were significantly higher than those of F. benjamina and F. concinna. Furthermore, the female adults of P. nuda larvae feeding on the F. microcarpa had the longest lifespan, while the male adults feeding on F. altissima had the longest lifespan. It was also showed that the female adult had the shortest pre-ovulation period, and the single female laid the most eggs. Finally, it was found that the larvae fed on F. microcarpa at the 1st to 4th instars preferred to feed on F. altissima at the 5th instar, while the host preferences of 5th instar P. nuda larvae fed on other three banyan species were not obvious.
Conclusion There are significant differences in the preference and selectivity of P. nuda to the four banyan species. F. microcarpa and F. altissima are more suitable for the growth and development of P. nuda than F. benjamina and F. concinna.