Thepanorpoid Orders

FIGURE 9.34. Bombycoidea. (A) The eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum (Lasiocampidae); (B) the promethea moth, Callosamia pmmethea (Saturniidae); and (C) C. promethea larva. [A, C, after W. J. Holland, 1920, The Moth Book, Doubleday and Co. Inc. B, from J. H. Comstock: An Introduction to Entomology, ed. Comstock Publishing Co., Inc.]

falling into six families. The LASIOCAMPIDAE (eggars, lappet moths) is a widely distributed group of about 2200 species of medium-sized or large, cryptically colored, sexually dimorphic moths with stout bodies. Larvae are hairy and in many species gregarious, living in a communal silk nest. These "tent" caterpillars (Figure 9.34A) leave the nest to feed during the day. Some species are important defoliators. The family SATURNIIDAE (giant silkworm moths) (Figure 9.34B, C) includes some of the largest Lepidoptera with wingspans up to 25 cm (Attacus spp,). This group, comprising 1300 species, has a worldwide, though primarily tropical distribution. Adults are non-feeding and often have large "eyespots" on the wings used to deter would-be predators. Larvae are characterized by the scoli (spiny protuberances) on their dorsal surface and some species are major defoliators of shade trees and species of pine. Others (e.g., Samia and Antheraea spp.) produce silk of commercial value. The BOMBYCIDAE (100 species) is an Asiatic group whose larvae are covered with tufts of hair, though the family's best known representative, Bombyx mori, the silkworm, is naked and has a short anal horn. EUPTEROTIDAE form a family of about 400 species distributed principally in Africa and Asia. Both adults and larvae are nocturnal, the latter often living gregariously in webs and occasionally becoming pests through defoliation of shade and timber trees. The 250 species of APATELODIDAE are mainly neotropical, with a few representatives in North America, The adults are nocturnal; the larvae are exposed feeders on trees and shrubs. There are more than 1000 species of SPHINGIDAE (hawk

FIGURE 9.35. Bombycoidea. The tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (Sphingidae). (A) Adult; and (B) larva. [By permission of U.S. Department of Agriculture.]

moths, sphinx moths) (Figure 9.35). The family is widespread in tropical and temperate regions and contains medium-sized to large moths that generally possess a very long proboscis. Many species are capable of hovering like hummingbirds; others, with transparent wings, mimic bumblebees. Larvae are smooth and characterized by a large dorsal horn on the eighth abdominal segment, which gives them their common name ofhornworms. Some species are important pests, for example, Manduca spp. on tomato, tobacco, and potato and Agrius spp. on sweet potato.

Superfamily Noctuoidea

This is easily the largest lepidopteran superfamily with close to 40,000 described species. It is a remarkably homogeneous group, and its members are characterized by their metathoracic tympanal organs (secondarily reduced in some groups); this uniformity makes the constituent families difficult to define. Using Nielsen and Common's (1991) system, four of the nine families contain the great majority of species. The family NOTODON-TIDAE (prominents) (3000 species) has often been given its own superfamily. The adults are nocturnal moths with stout bodies. Larvae are exposed feeders on trees and shrubs. When disturbed, some larvae raise the anterior and posterior ends of the body in the air and become motionless. In this attitude they vaguely resemble a twig or dead leaf. Others spray formic acid or ketones. Some species are pests through their defoliation of fruit, shade, and forest trees. About 21,000 species (including 3000 in North America) of the worldwide family NOCTUIDAE (owlet moths) have been described. These mainly nocturnal moths are procryptically colored with dark fore wings; usually they rest on tree trunks during the day. Larvae are typically phytophagous, though some prey on homopterans. They usually have four pairs of prolegs, but in some species one or more anterior pairs are reduced, and the caterpillar moves in a looping manner. Pupation in most species takes place in the ground. The family contains a large number of major pests. These include Pseudale-tia (= Leucania) unipuncta, the armyworm, so-called because of its habit of appearing in massive numbers and marching gregariously to feed on cereal crops; Helicoverpa zea, the corn earworm, which feeds on maize cobs and other plants; Trichoplusia ni, the cabbage looper; and several other species belonging to different genera (e.g., Agrotis, Prodenia, Feltia) that are commonly known as cutworms (Figure 9.36) from their habit of cutting off

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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