Canadian Forest Service Publications
Influence of balsam fir (Abies balsamea) budburst phenology on hemlock looper (Lambdina fiscellaria) 2010. Butt, C.; Quiring, D.; Hébert, C.; Delisle, J.; Berthiaume, R.; Bauce, E.; Royer, L. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 134: 220-226.
Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 31321
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Many herbivorous insects emerge synchronously with budburst of their host plant, as the nutritional quality of foliage often decreases rapidly following budburst. We carried out manipulative field experiments to evaluate the influence of bud and shoot phenology on performance of the hemlock looper, Lambdina fiscellaria Guenée (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Ourapterygini), on balsam fir, Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. (Pinaceae), in NF, Canada. Hemlock looper survival, pupal weight, and realized fecundity, which were then combined to estimate fitness, were all highest when newly emerged first instars were placed on foliage of current-year shoots that had completed approximately 25–35% of their elongation, and lower when placed on younger or older foliage. Survival of a small portion of larvae placed on buds a week before budburst suggests that newly emerged first instars either entered unburst buds or survived for a week without food. In laboratory experiments, approximately half of larvae survived for 4 days without food or water at 10 °C and 65%r.h. The timing of egg hatch in the field appeared to be adaptive, but the short duration of egg hatch suggests that another factor in addition to host plant phenology exerts stabilizing selection pressure on the timing of egg hatch.