The effects of foliage color on the selection of host plants by Pieris rapae (L.) were investigated using choice tests between Brassica rapa (L.) varieties with green, variegated, and yellow—green leaves. Gravid-naive females displayed a first landing preference for the green and variegated Brassica varieties when the plants were freely accessible. Comparable results were observed when the plants were enclosed in glass jars, demonstrating that visual cues were sufficient to induce the landing response. The first landing choice was positively correlated with oviposition preference and larval survival. These results suggest that leaf color is an important visual cue used by P. rapae for intraspecific host selection.
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Vol. 43 • No. 4