The Macrolepidoptera fauna of the Urals, from the southern to the northern boundary of the forest zone (i.e., from the forest–steppe of the Southern Urals to the forest–tundra of the Polar Urals) has been analyzed. It has been demonstrated that the proportion of Lepidoptera feeding on woody plants, including evergreens, increases in this direction. Among the Heterocera, the proportion of species feeding on graminoids decreases; in the Polar Urals, none of these species is specialized. The food spectrum is particularly variable in noctuids and almost invariable in geometrids and Rhopalocera. It is assumed that foods with a low nutrient value (grasses, mosses, lichens, plant debris, wood, and roots of various plants) prevent Macrolepidoptera species from spreading in the Subarctic region. In the Polar Urals, multiyear developmental cycles and wintering at the larval stage are related to feeding on these types of food.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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