Foliage Type and Deprivation Alters the Movement Behavior of Late Instar European Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)

Jacob T. Wittman, Brian H. Aukema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The movement behavior of insects characterizes their ability to disperse, establish, compete, forage, seek mates, and ultimately reproduce. Understanding the movement of invasive insects is particularly important for developing management policies. We conducted laboratory experiments in Minnesota, USA to determine how host type and food deprivation affected the movement of late instars of the European gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), an invasive forest insect in North America. Gypsy moth larvae can feed on over 300 species of trees and shrubs. During outbreaks food availability to conspecifics can become severely restricted as developing instars consume increasing amounts of foliage. Larvae were raised on one of five foods: Quercus macrocarpa, Larix laricina, Acer platanoides, Acer saccharinum, or artificial diet. Subsets of fifth and sixth instar larvae were also deprived of food for zero, 24, or 48 h. After the food deprivation period, late instar larvae were placed on a servosphere and their movement paths were recorded. Larvae raised on Q. macrocarpa, a preferred host, were unlikely to move unless starved. They moved farther the longer they were starved. In contrast, when larvae were raised on less preferred hosts, they were more likely to move without prior starvation. These results suggest that feeding on optimal hosts provides gypsy moth larvae with the energy and nutritional requirements to move more quickly to more food when there is none immediately available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-37
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Nik Prenevost and Stephanie Dahl with the University of Minnesota (U MN) MAES/MDA Containment facility for their assistance working in the quarantine facility, Gary Reuters from the U MN Bee Lab for assistance constructing the box for the servosphere and Aubree Kees, Elgin Lee, Kristine Jecha, Tenzin Dothar, and Mara Short (U MN) for help conducting servosphere trials. Funding for this project was provided by the USDA APHIS Gypsy Moth Program, USDA APHIS Farm Bill agreement 17-8130-0519, and the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Two anonymous reviewers provided valuable feedback that improved an earlier version of this work.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We would like to thank Nik Prenevost and Stephanie Dahl with the University of Minnesota (U MN) MAES/ MDA Containment facility for their assistance working in the quarantine facility, Gary Reuters from the U MN Bee Lab for assistance constructing the box for the servosphere and Aubree Kees, Elgin Lee, Kristine Jecha, Tenzin Dothar, and Mara Short (U MN) for help conducting servosphere trials. Funding for this project was provided by the USDA APHIS Gypsy Moth Program, USDA APHIS Farm Bill agreement 17-8130-0519, and the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Two anonymous reviewers provided valuable feedback that improved an earlier version of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Foliage
  • Locomotion compensator
  • Lymantria dispar
  • Movement behavior
  • Servosphere

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