Mothers in the woods: multitrophic interactions and oviposition preference in the bronze big Thaumastocoris pergrinus, a pest of Eucalyptus

Gonzalo Martínez

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

The bronze bug is an important pest of Eucalyptus trees. Originally restricted to Australia, it has become an important pest of Eucalyptus plantations, colonizing in 15 years the major production areas worldwide. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the factors affecting the oviposition behavior of the bronze bug within a multitrophic system comprised of its host plant (Eucalyptus spp.), a common co-occurring sap-feeder (Glycaspis brimblecombei) and a specialist egg parasitoid (Cleruchoides noackae). I assessed the life parameters of this species in a newly developed rearing. Based on the preference-performance hypothesis, I tested the effects of host-plant quality, conspecifics, or the infestation by a potential competitor on preference-performance correlations of the bronze bug. The egg parasitoid (C. noackae) was introduced, reared, and released. Finally, I assessed host-selection behavior of the parasitoid, testing its responses towards different contact cues. The findings of this investigation provided new insights on the oviposition behavior by true bugs, and towards the development of management strategies for T. peregrinus.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Dicke, Marcel, Promotor
  • González, A., Co-promotor, External person
Award date17 Oct 2017
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463436786
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • eucalyptus
  • forest plantations
  • forest pests
  • multitrophic interactions
  • biological control
  • hemiptera
  • oviposition
  • host plants
  • uruguay
  • insect plant relations

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