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A Survey of Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Forest Macrolepidoptera in the Central Appalachians

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In 1995 and 1996, we conducted a study of the hymenopteran parasitoids of macrolepidopteran larvae in the George Washington National Forest (GWNF), Augusta County, Virginia, and the Monongahela National Forest (MNF), Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Macrolepidopteran larvae were collected from canopy foliage and from under canvas bands placed around tree boles. A total of 115 macrolepidopteran species and 5,235 individual larvae were reared. Forty-two percent (2,221) of the larvae were gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lymantriidae). A total of 43 primary and seven secondary (hyperparasitoid) hymenopteran parasitoid species were reared from 46 macrolepidopteran species. Hymenopteran families represented included Ichneumonidae (23 species), Braconidae (19), Eulophidae (6), Perilampidae (1), and Trigonalidae (1). We reared 41 and 28 parasitoid species from the GWNF and the MNF, respectively, with 19 species reared from both forests. Many parasitoid species were collected infrequently, suggesting that they are relatively rare on the sampled hosts. The introduced species Cotesia melanoscela (Ratzeburg) (Braconidae), and Euplectrus bicolor (Swederus) (Eulophidae) were among the most commonly reared parasitoids, the latter reared from native hosts. The four most commonly reared native parasitoids were Meteorus hyphantriae Riley (Braconidae), Microplitis near hyphantriae (Ashmead) (Braconidae), Aleiodes preclarus Marsh & Shaw, and Euplectrus maculiventris (Westwood) (Eulophidae). A total of 53 new hymenopteran parasitoid-macrolepidopteran host records were documented. Results from this study will be used to evaluate long-term treatment effects of regional applications of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, and the gypsy moth fungus Entomophaga maimaiga Humber, Shimazu & Soper on hymenopteran parasitoids of macrolepidopteran larvae.

Keywords: Appalachian Mountains; Bacillus thuringiensis; Hymenoptera; gypsy moth; host associations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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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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