Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effect of diet and feeding history on flight of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. 2003. MacQuarrie, C.J.K.; Boiteau, G. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 107:207-213

Year: 2003

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35657

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


We evaluated the hypothesis that Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) (CPB) flight frequency is related to diet, and that it changes with duration of food unavailability or exposure to poor quality food by exposing adult overwintered and summer CPB populations to an acceptable host plant (conventional foliage), a poor host (insect resistant transgenic foliage expressing Bacillus thuringiensis tenebrionis[Btt] Cry3a toxin) and no host. Exposure to poor host and no host treatments (with or without water) decreased mean daily flight frequencies and the overall number of overwintered CPB flying, but increased the mean daily flight frequency and number of summer population CPB that flew. Overwintered CPB did not react to an absence of plants at emergence whereas summer CPB increased mean daily flight frequencies when plants and water were not available. The flight response to insect resistant foliage was similar to that for starvation treatments in both populations indicating that flight may not be triggered by Btt toxins but by starvation brought on by feeding on poor quality food. Flight was observed in all treatments for the duration of the test with two exceptions; overwintered beetles fed insect resistant foliage ceased flying after day 17 and summer beetles starved without water ceased after day 8 of a 29-day study.

Plain Language Summary

This paper is part of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) of Systemic Pesticides series of papers in Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The WIA is a comprehensive literature review and synthesis on environmental risks associated with the use of the systemic insecticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil. David Kreutzweiser is a research scientist at NRCan, CFS and is a participant and author in the WIA. This paper describes the environmental behaviour of these systemic insecticides. The synthesis shows that neonicotinoids in particular are found in many environmental compartments (e.g., dust, soils, water, plants, pollen, nectar) and are often persistent for months to years, especially in agricultural areas. This wide range of exposure routes coupled with the systemic and persistent nature of these insecticides, increases the likelihood of environmental effects on pollinators, soil invertebrates, aquatic invertebrates, and herbaceous (plant-eating) invertebrates. Policy implications to NRCan are minimal. There is one neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, registered for forestry in Canada, but the use of imidacloprid in forest pest control is currently very limited and therefore the environmental exposure and risk from the forestry use of this neonicotinoid in Canada is negligible.