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Biological Sciences


Although biological invasions are generally thought to negatively impact native fauna, native herbivores that can utilize invasive plants may benefit. The East Coast of the United States has been invaded by the vitaceous plant Ampelopsis brevipedunculata. The invaded range of A. brevipedunculata overlaps with that of the native Vitis labrusca, a closely-related species that is a host plant for the native moth Darapsa myron (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). We reared D. myron larvae on either V. labrusca or A. brevipedunculata to assess whether development and survival differed on the two plant species. Larval growth and survival to pupation was only 5% on A. brevipedunculata compared to 30% on V. labrusca, suggesting that the invasive species is an unsuitable hostplant for D. myron.