Canadian Forest Service Publications

Overwintering mortality of spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.) (Lepidoptera : Tortricidae), populations under field conditions. 1998. Régnière, J.; Duval, P. The Canadian Entomologist 130: 13-26.

Year: 1998

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16729

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Overwintering mortality in the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana) (Clem.), was measured between 1983 and 1990 in several natural stands of balsam fir, _Abies balsamea (L.), in Quebec and Ontario. Overwintering losses (disappearance of larvae) averaged 25.2%, occurred mostly in late summer and early fall, and were probably caused by, in large part, failure to spin a hibernaculum, diapause-free development, and invertebrate predation. An average of 24.1% of larvae were found dead in the hibernaculum. This mortality also occurred early in diapause and during post-diapause development, and overwintering mortality did not vary much from year to year. We conclude that overwintering mortality does not result from adverse winter weather conditions or from gradual loss of hibernacula. Overall overwintering mortality from the loss of hibernating larvae plus death within the hibernaculum averaged 43.2% and was not related to infection with the microsporidian Nosema fumiferanae (Thomson). We observed no influence of position in the tree crown on overwintering survival. There was a 40% decrease in overwintering survival among larvae from eggs laid very late in a female's oviposition sequence. Survival within the hibernaculum on shoots of A. balsamea bearing different types of spinning substrates varied considerably, and was highly correlated with larval spinning preferences. Shoots bearing lichen mats, rough bark, male flower scars, or 1-year-old annular scales were most suitable, whereas shoots bearing annular scales older than 1 year or smooth bark were least suitable. The efficiency of the NaOH extraction technique to recover overwintering spruce budworm larvae was found to be highly variable, and to depend on population density, shoot type, and the proportion of live larvae on the branches.

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