Stable carbon isotope evidence for tracing the diet of the host Hepialus larva of Cordyceps sinensis in the Tibetan Plateau
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Two types of Hepialus larvae with different diets were distinguished in the Sejila Mountain, Tibetan Plateau based on the stable carbon isotope data of the host Hepialus larva of Cordyceps sinensis and its closely adjacent tender plant roots and humus fractions. Type I is the larva chiefly fed by soil humus, and characterized by the δ 13C values of −22.6‰ to −23.4‰, and more than −23.4‰ in its heads. Type II is the larva chiefly fed by tender plant roots, and characterized by the δ 13C values of −24.6‰ to −27.6‰, and less than −24.6‰ in its heads. Our result has exceeded the traditional understanding that their food sources only come from the tender plant roots, and may provide evidence for choosing cheap and high-quality foods and further establishing artificial habitats in their large-scale reproduction.
Keywordsstable carbon isotopes host Hepialus larva of Cordyceps sinensis humus substances Tibetan Plateau
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