Rhododerndron periclymenoides (Ericaceae) and Pyrrhalta rufosanguinea (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): A Multivariate Analysis of Factors Affecting Host Plant Choice


Bruce L. King

Additional Authors:


March – 1996


Rhondodendron periclymenoides, Ericaceae, Pyrrhalta rufosanguinea, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae

Foliage from Rhododendron periclymenoideslt populations were used in a cafeteria style host-choice experiment with adult leaf beetles of Pyrrhalta rufosanguinea to determine if intrapopulational variation in 14 morphological and chemical characters could be correlated with differential herbivory. An assessment of the interaction between leaf variables and palatability was made. Leaves with larger size, higher moisture content, and lower concentrations of the flavonoid quercetin 3-0-arabinoside increased the probability of attack by the leaf beetle. A PCA-regression model suggests that interactions among leaf variables are important in determining a feeding response.