Canadian Forest Service Publications

Host instar as a determinant of preference and suitability of two parasitoids attacking late instars of the spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). 1990. Hébert, C.; Cloutier, C. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 83(4): 734-741.

Year: 1990

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 14122

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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We tested the hypothesis that the host larval instars preferred by the adult female of two parasitoids of the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), also are the most suitable for immature survival, growth, and development. The hypothesis was supported for the tachinid Winthemia fumiferanae Tothill but not for the braconid Meteorus trachynotus Viereck. W. fumiferanae preferred the sixth over the fifth host instar for oviposition; the sixth instar also was the most suitable for the traits investigated. In addition to host instar, host sex also influenced larval development and pupal weight of this parasitoid. M. trachynotus preferentially approached sixth instars of the host, but second to sixth instars were attacked with equal frequency. Survival of this parasitoid was high in all instars tested, but development time from egg to pupa decreased and cocoon weight increased in older instars. M. trachynotus, a bivoltine two-host parasitoid, is more flexible in its host selection behavior and developmental biology than W. fumiferanae, a univoltine single-host parasitoid. For M. trachynotus, developmental flexibility and host regulation appeared to be important adaptive mechanisms, widening the range of spruce budworm instars suitable for parasitism. Nevertheless, greater adjustment to the spruce budworm is indicated for W. fumiferanae, in that this univoltine parasitoid is better synchronized in the field with its most suitable host instar than the bivoltine parasitoid, M. trachynotus.