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Adult large pine weevils Hylobius abietis feed on silver birch Betula pendula even in the presence of conifer seedlings

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1 The feeding preference of the adult pine weevil Hylobius abietis (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for Betula pendula Roth was studied in no-choice and paired-choice feeding experiments.

2 In the first no-choice test, large quantities of silver birch bark in Petri dishes were consumed; on average, the daily consumption of each weevil was 67 mm2.

3 In the second no-choice test, the weevils were offered 1-year-old silver birch seedlings for 6 days. Initially, the weevils fed mostly on the stem bases; later, they moved upward to feed on other parts of the stems. In addition to the main shoots, scars caused by gnawing were also found on leaf bases, blades, veins and petioles. Feeding resulted in the death of the main stems in 15% of the seedlings.

4 In the paired-choice tests, the conifers were preferred to silver birch, even though a large amount of silver birch was also consumed in the presence of conifers.

5 In the paired-choice tests, equal amounts of Scots pine and Norway spruce were always consumed. When hybrid aspen was offered, only small amounts were gnawed.
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Keywords: Curculionidae; Hylobius abietis; feeding; feeding preferences

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Unit, Yliopistokatu 6, Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: 01 May 2006

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