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Biotic Indicators of Host Preference by the Bagworm (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

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Mortality, bag length, and larval head capsule width of the bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth), were examined in greenhouse tests as indicators of host preference for deciduous and coniferous hosts, both as donor and recipient host. Neonate larvae reared from eggs collected from deciduous and evergreen hosts were placed on selected tree species and allowed to feed for 30 d. Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis L.) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) had lower mortalities compared with eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.), and American sycamore (Plantoides occidentalis L.). Original host had no specific effect on mortality. Significantly longer bags and a corresponding higher frequency of older instars were observed when bagworm originated from black locust compared with other hosts. Compared with other sources, larvae obtained from arborvitae consistently produced longer bags on each host species. This is the first demonstration of a significant difference in bagworm development for each of the biotic factors studied, and the first identification of black locust as a superior host for bagworm. The effect of host shape on rate of infestation is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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