Patterns of Host-Plant Use

Part of the Contemporary Topics in Entomology book series (COTE, volume 2)


A continuous spectrum exists between insect species that will only feed on one plant species and others that feed on a very wide range of plants in many different families. It is usual to separate the insects into categories depending on their host-plant ranges, but it is important to recognize that no clear boundaries separate these groups and different authors use them in different ways. The categories commonly recognized are: monophagous, oligophagous and polyphagous.


Colorado Potato Beetle Polyphagous Insect Egyptian Cotton Leaf Worm Oligophagous Species Spotted Alfalfa Aphid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Bernays, E.A., Chapman, R.F., Macdonald, J. and Salter, J.E.R. 1976. The degree of oligophagy in Locusta migratoria (L.). Ecol.Entomol. 1: 223–230.Google Scholar
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Further Reading

  1. Eastop, V.F. 1973. Deductions from the present day host plants of aphids and related insects. Symp.R.Entomol.Soc.Lond. 6: 157–178.Google Scholar
  2. Eastop, V.F. 1973. Diversity of the Sternorrhyncha within major climatic zones. Symp.R.Entomol.Soc. Lond. 9: 71–88.Google Scholar
  3. Fox, L.R. and Morrow, P. A. 1981. Specialization: species property or local phenomenon? Science 211: 887–893.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Strong, D.R., Lawton, J.H. and Southwood, R. 1984. Insects on Plants. Harvard, Cambridge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall, New York, NY 1994

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