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Does spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) rearing diet influence larval parasitism?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2013

M. Lukas Seehausen*
Affiliation:
Centre d’Étude de la Forêt and Département des Sciences du Bois et de la Forêt, Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Ville de Québec, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
Jacques Régnière
Affiliation:
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Ville de Québec, Québec, Canada G1V 4C7
Éric Bauce
Affiliation:
Centre d’Étude de la Forêt and Département des Sciences du Bois et de la Forêt, Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Ville de Québec, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
*
1Corresponding author (e-mail: ml.seehausen@mail.utoronto.ca). Subject editor: Rob Johns

Abstract

Artificial diet is commonly used to rear the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in the laboratory. While its effect on spruce budworm performance is relatively well studied, no information exists about the influence of rearing diet on larval parasitism. In this study, spruce budworm larvae reared in the laboratory on artificial diet or balsam fir, Abies balsamea (Linnaeus) Miller (Pinaceae), foliage were introduced in the field to compare parasitism. Additionally, a laboratory choice test was conducted with the larval parasitoid Tranosema rostrale (Brischke) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). No significant influence of spruce budworm rearing diet on parasitism in the field was found. However, in the laboratory, T. rostrale attacked significantly more foliage-fed larvae. We conclude that even if initial differences in parasitism may exist between diet-fed and foliage-fed larvae in the laboratory, spruce budworm larvae reared on artificial diet can be used in field studies investigating parasitism of wild spruce budworm populations without concern that the food source would affect parasitism.

Résumé

Dans la présente étude, des larves de la tordeuse des bourgeons de l’épinette (TBE), Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), ont été élevées en laboratoire sur nourriture artificielle ainsi que sur du feuillage de sapin baumier, Abies balsamea (Linnaeus) Miller (Pinaceae), pour ensuite être introduites en forêt afin de comparer leur parasitisme. Par ailleurs, un test de choix en laboratoire a été effectué avec le parasitoïde Tranosema rostrale (Brischke) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Aucune influence significative de la diète sur le parasitisme n'a été démontrée sur le terrain. Cependant, un nombre significativement plus grand de larves élevées sur le feuillage ont été attaquées par T. rostrale en laboratoire. Malgré la préférence pour les larves élevées sur le feuillage en laboratoire, nous concluons que des larves élevées sur la diète artificielle peuvent être utilisées dans la détermination des taux de parasitisme sur le terrain sans risque de biaiser les résultats obtenus.

Type
Behaviour & Ecology – NOTE
Copyright
Copyright © Entomological Society of Canada 2013 

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References

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