The chemistry of heliconia imbricata and heliconia latispatha and the slow growth of a hispine beetle herbivore
Gage, D.A.; Strong, D.R.Jr
Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 9(1): 79-82
Larvae of the beetles of the hispine chrysomelids which are monophagous on Heliconia spp. grow very slowly. This phenomenon is apparently unrelated to the nutritional status of the leaves or their content of potentially toxic secondary compounds, but is related to the fact that the beetles only eat immature rolled leaves. Leaf phenology appears to be the most important factor.