- Lindroth, R. L.
The effects of food plant on larval performance and midgut detoxification enzymes were investigated in larvae of the luna moth, Actias luna. First instar survival, larval duration, and pupal weights were monitored as indices of food quality. Midgut enzyme preparations from fifth instars were assayed. Larval survival on seven of the 11 plant species, including several recorded host plants, was extremely poor. Larvae performed well, and quite similarly, on birch, walnut, butternut, and hickory. Results suggest that host plant utilization by luna is more specialized at the individual or population level than at the species level and that biochemical detoxification systems may play a role in such specialization.