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Implications for adults' fitness through the foliage effects of five different host plants on larval survival and performance of the lappet moth, Streblote panda Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), as well as their effect on species fitness were assayed. Larvae were reared under controlled laboratory conditions on excised foliage. Long-term developmental experiments were done using first instar larvae to adult emergence, and performance experiments were done using fifth instar larvae. Survival, development rates, and food use were measured. Foliar traits analysis indicated that leaves of different host plants varied, significantly affecting larvae performance and adult fitness. Pistacia lentiscus L. (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), Arbutus unedo L. (Ericales: Ericaceae), and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. (Fabales: Fabaceae) were the most suitable hosts. Larvae fed on Tamarix gallica L. (Caryophyllales: Tamaricaceae) and Spartium junceum L. (Fabales: Fabaceae) showed the lowest survival, rates of development and pupal and adult weight. In general, S. panda showed a relatively high capacity to buffer low food quality, by reducing developmental rates and larvae development thereby reaching the minimum pupal weight that ensures adult survival. Less suitable plants seem to have indirect effects on adult fitness, producing smaller adults that could disperse to other habitats.