Canadian Forest Service Publications

Mortality, feeding inhibition, and recovery of spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larvae following aerial application of a high-potency formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. 2000. van Frankenhuyzen, K.; Nystrom, C.W.; Dedes, J.; Seligy, V. The Canadian Entomologist 132: 505-518.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18336

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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A larval population of spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), was monitored for 5 d following aerial application of a commercial formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner subsp. kurstaki to investigate dose acquisition and expression (larval mortality, recovery, feeding, and growth) in relation to spray deposition and persistence of spray deposits. The main objective was to test if previous laboratory observations on how B. thuringiensis affects feeding and dose ingestion by spruce budworm larvae hold true under field conditions. About 40% of the untreated population ingested a lethal dose within 1 d after spray application. Lethally dosed larvae died without further feeding upon transfer from treated foliage to (untreated) artificial diet. Resumption of feeding by larvae that survived the treatment was delayed relative to larvae from the control population during 3 d following spray application; during that time, normal feeding activity and larval weight gain were suppressed. Inhibited feeding by survivors appeared to prevent further dose uptake because the proportion of lethally dosed larvae in daily collections did not increase despite significant residual spray deposits in budworm feeding sites. Restoration of "normal" recovery times by the fourth day coincided with a 65-85% reduction in persistence of the pathogen on the the foliage and did not result in further lethal dose acquisition, as treatment-induced mortality dropped to about 20% on the 4th and 5th days. The observations are consistent with previous laboratoy observations of how B. thuringiensis affects larval feeding and with the hypothesis that feeding inhibition may be a limiting factor in the acquisition of a lethal dose.