Parasitoids are significant enemies of many economically important insects and there is some evidence to suggest that their actions have a role in terminating the outbreaks of forest Lepidoptera populations. In this study, we examined the impact of parasitoids on the pupae of the pine processionary moth, and highlighted the presence of several parasitoid species for this developmental stage. A higher rate of parasitism was found when the pupal density in the soil was reduced, but the rate of parasitism was not influenced by pupal morphological traits or by the presence or absence of a cocoon around a pupa. Of the external factors examined, a delay in the time of descent of larvae from the trees had a positive effect on the level of parasitism. Observational data indicated that dipteran and hymenopteran were the most abundant parasitoids to emerge from moth pupae. Our study highlights the complexity of the parasitoid–host dynamics, and stresses the importance of carefully determining environmental effects on host–parasitoid relations.

Interactions between pupae of the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) and parasitoids in a Pinus forest.

BONSIGNORE, CARMELO PETER
Investigation
;
2015

Abstract

Parasitoids are significant enemies of many economically important insects and there is some evidence to suggest that their actions have a role in terminating the outbreaks of forest Lepidoptera populations. In this study, we examined the impact of parasitoids on the pupae of the pine processionary moth, and highlighted the presence of several parasitoid species for this developmental stage. A higher rate of parasitism was found when the pupal density in the soil was reduced, but the rate of parasitism was not influenced by pupal morphological traits or by the presence or absence of a cocoon around a pupa. Of the external factors examined, a delay in the time of descent of larvae from the trees had a positive effect on the level of parasitism. Observational data indicated that dipteran and hymenopteran were the most abundant parasitoids to emerge from moth pupae. Our study highlights the complexity of the parasitoid–host dynamics, and stresses the importance of carefully determining environmental effects on host–parasitoid relations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/6251
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