Canadian Forest Service Publications

Wing wear of adult Choristoneura fumiferana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in relation to age, sex, sex ratio, and presence of host plant. 2012. Rhainds, M.; Brodersen, G. Applied Entomology and Zoology 47: 475-478.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34285

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


Wing wear of adult butterflies has been used to record age-related demographic parameters in hundreds of studies, but this technique has surprisingly been rarely used in moths and never in the context of pest management. A method for scoring wing wear of eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), the most severe pest in eastern North American boreal forests, is proposed based on the proportion of forewings covered with scales. Studies conducted in the laboaratory reveal a higher level of wing damage for males than females, for 4-day-old individuals than 2-day-old individuals, and for adults that are in contact with host plant material. Males provided with mating opportunities had a lower incidence of wing damage than males deprived of mating opportunity, whereas wing wear of females was independent of the presence or absence of males. In combination with other variables, wing wear of adult spruce budworms may help to identify and forecast migration events.

Plain Language Summary

Wing wear was assessed for thousands of adult budworms captured at light traps. The primary objective was to recognize immigrants based on high levels of wear; unfortunately, migrations are characterized by high numerical abundance and wings of all budworms become heavily damaged when light traps reach near saturation level (i.e., filled with moths). Wing wear may still be used as a proxy of age in field studies of budworm reproduction.