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Feeding Behaviour on Host Plants May Influence Potential Exposure to Bt Maize Pollen of Aglais Urticae Larvae (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae)

by 1,2,*,† and 3,†
1
Environmental Geosciences, University of Basel, Bernoullistrasse 30, Basel CH-4056, Switzerland
2
Lang, Hörnlehof, Gresgen 108, Zell im Wiesental D-79669, Germany
3
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Konstantinstraße 110, Bonn D-53179, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Insects 2015, 6(3), 760-771; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030760
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 17 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
Non-target butterfly larvae may be harmed by feeding on host plants dusted with Bt maize pollen. Feeding patterns of larvae and their utilization of host plants can affect the adverse Bt impact because the maize pollen is distributed unequally on the plant. In a field study, we investigated the feeding of larvae of the Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae, on nettles, Urtica dioica. Young larvae used smaller host plants than older larvae. In general, the position of the larvae was in the top part of the host plant, but older larvae showed a broader vertical distribution on the nettles. Leaf blades and leaf tips were the plant parts most often consumed. Leaf veins were consumed but midribs were fed on to a lesser extent than other plant veins, particularly by young larvae. The feeding behavior of the larvae may increase possible exposure to Bt maize pollen because pollen densities are expected to be higher on the top parts and along leaf veins of nettles. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetically modified plants; transgenic crop; pollen drift; risk assessment; non-target butterfly genetically modified plants; transgenic crop; pollen drift; risk assessment; non-target butterfly
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Lang, A.; Otto, M. Feeding Behaviour on Host Plants May Influence Potential Exposure to Bt Maize Pollen of Aglais Urticae Larvae (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Insects 2015, 6, 760-771.

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