Apple sawfly Hoplocampa testudinea and its parasitoid Lathrolestes ensator in Dutch apple orchards (Hym.,Tenthredinidae and Ichneumonidae Ctenopelmatinae)

J.P. Zijp, L.H.M. Blommers

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    Changes in population densities of the apple sawfly Hoplocampa testudinea (Klug) and its parasitoid Lathrolestes ensator (Brauns) were monitored in 15 apple orchards for a period of up to 4 years. The parasitoid species was found in all orchards except one, and was more numerous in plantings on sandier soils. Post-bloom insecticide applications against other pests, and carbaryl for fruit thinning, often decimated both host and parasitoid in integrated pest management orchards. In organic orchards, where synthetic pesticides are banned, and Quassia is the only remedy against sawfly, the pest is more problematic. The low levels of parasitism in all organic orchards, except one, were possibly due to the application of wettable sulphur during the parasitoid flight period. The sawfly usually recovers more quickly than its parasitoid when chemical control is discontinued, because propagation of L. ensator is limited in various ways. The parasitoid is time limited, because suitable second instar host larvae are rarely available for more than a week on a single apple variety. Moreover, parasitism levels stay moderate because the parasitoid females do not avoid superparasitism. Finally, relatively more sawflies than parasitoids emerge after 10 months underground, because the incidence of prolonged diapause is more elevated in L. ensator than in the sawfly. It is suggested that both the high incidence of prolonged diapause and the inability to avoid superparasitism are useful in reducing the risk of local extinction. Elevated sawfly attack in a single early apple variety would reduce exploitation of suitable host larvae in other nearby varieties, in as far as the parasitoid is not able to distinguish fruitlets with accessible second instar host larvae from those with inaccessible older larvae. Although the former are available for a limited time, the latter may keep the parasitoids from moving to the less abundant second instar larvae in late(r) varieties. Reduction of elevated host density in such an early variety by a properly timed application of a short-lived pesticide, such as Quassia, increases parasitism levels proportionally, and is expected to promote parasitoid movement to host larvae in other varieties nearby
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-274
    JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • apple sawfly
    • parasitoid


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