Canadian Forest Service Publications

Interactions between Bacillus thuringiensis and parasitoids of late-instar larvae of the spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) 2001. Schoenmaker, A.; Cusson, M.; van Frankenhuyzen, K. Canadian Journal of Zoology 79: 1697-1703.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 19143

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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We investigated interactions between Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner var. kurstaki and parasitoids that attack late instars of the eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens). In a petri-dish arena, females of Tranosema rostrale rostrale (Brishke) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) were able to discriminate between untreated fourth instars and fourth instars that had been given a known dose of a commercial product (Foray 48B). When the choice tests were conducted before host mortality due to B. thuringiensis had occurred among treated larvae (24 h post ingestion), the parasitoid attacked untreated larvae more readily. When females were given a choice between control larvae and treated larvae that were still alive 72 h post ingestion, they were able to discriminate beween the two only when the larvae had been treated with at least a 50% lethal dose. Under laboratory conditions, female T. r. rostrale were thus able to detect and avoid treated larvae that exhibited a lethal response to the pathogen, and to a lesser extent larvae that had survived pathogen exposure. The ability of the latter was not apparent under field conditions. When treated and untreated larvae were exposed for 1 week to a complex of indigenous parasitoids in the field, there was no difference between treatments in the rates of parasitism by either T. r. rostrale or Actia interrupta Curran (Diptera: Tachinidae). Parasitism averaged 91% for larvae in the control treatment compared with 92% for larvae treated with Foray 48B. The field data suggest that spruce budworm larvae that survive exposure to B. thuringiensis are just as likely to be parasitized as unexposed, healthy larvae. This means that prolonged development of late-instar spruce budworm larvae after treatment with B. thuringiensis could possibly result in increased attack rates by parasitoids.