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Receptor characterization of nontarget butterflies for risk assessment of biological control with the egg parasitoid Trichogramma minutum (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)

  • R.S. Bourchier (a1)

Abstract

Receptor characterization (i.e., identifying what will be affected by an activity) is the first step in a risk assessment of biocontrol agents for insects. Development of a representative list of species at risk, based on ecological vulnerability, enables host-range screening of potential biocontrol agents on a manageable group of nontarget insects. A database of 153 species was used to characterize the butterflies potentially at risk from an inundative release of the egg parasitoid Trichogramma minutum Riley. Risk criteria for butterfly species included North American, Canadian, and Ontario geographic distributions; oviposition phenology; number of generations per year; overwintering stage; host-plant preferences; and egg mass type and location. Ecological vulnerability lists of butterfly species were generated for northern and southern Ontario; areas where there have been recent experimental inundative releases of T. minutum for the suppression of forest pests. Based on the above criteria, 2 species and a maximum of 27 species would be potentially at risk, and thus requiring host-range testing if an inundative release were considered for northern and southern Ontario, respectively. The number of species on the ecological vulnerability list for southern Ontario could be reduced to 12 species depending on the specific geographic location in southern Ontario of the inundative release. The six criteria used for receptor characterization for T. minutum, associated primarily with host-habitat location and host-location, can also be used for other parasitoids. They are components of any target host's biology, and thus will affect the scale and impact of any parasitoid attacking eggs, larvae, or pupae. Additional criteria for receptor characterization may also be added that will relate to the specifics of a parasitoid's biology and are associated with host acceptance and host suitability. Development of ecologically based vulnerability lists should become standard practice in determining which nontarget species require host-range testing, for both inundative and classical biocontrol agents targeting insects, and for the potential impact of invasive species.

La caractérisation des récepteurs (i.e. la reconnaissance de ce qui sera affecté par une activité) constitue la première étape de l'évaluation des risques de l'utilisation d'agents de lutte biologique contre les insectes. L'élaboration d'une liste représentative des espèces à risque, basée sur leur vulnérabilité écologique, permet de faire un survol des espèces hôtes d'agents de lutte biologique éventuels au sein d'un groupe de taille raisonnable d'espèces d'insectes non ciblés. Une base de données de 153 espèces de papillons a servi à caractériser les espèces potentiellement à risque lors d'une libération en masse de Trichogramma minutum Riley. Parmi les critères d'évaluation des risques pour les espèces de papillons, il faut compter leur répartition en Amérique du Nord, au Canada et en Ontario, la phénologie de leur ponte, le nombre de générations qu'elles produisent par année, leur stade d'hiver, leurs préférences de plantes hôtes, leur type de masse d'oeufs et le lieu de leur ponte. Nous avons dressé des listes d'espèces de papillons du nord et du sud de l'Ontario en fonction de leur vulnérabilité écologique; ces deux régions ont été soumises récemment à des relâchements en masse de T. minutum pour supprimer des insectes ravageurs des forêts. D'après ces critères, 2 espèces du nord de l'Ontario et un maximum de 27 espèces du sud seraient potentiellement à risque et il faudrait faire des tests sur l'étendue des espèces hôtes avant de procéder à un relâchement massif d'agents de lutte. Le nombre d'espèces vulnérables de la liste peut se réduire à 12 dépendant du lieu géographique du sud de l'Ontario où se fait le relâchement en masse. Les six critères utilisés pour caractériser les récepteurs de T. minutum, critères associés surtout à la position géographique de l'habitat de l'hôte et à la position des hôtes, peuvent également servir avec d'autres parasitoïdes. Ce sont des composantes de la biologie de toute espèce hôte ciblée et, par le fait même, ils affectent l'impact et l'échelle d'action de tout parasitoïde qui s'attaque aux oeufs, aux larves ou aux nymphes. Des critères additionnels reliés aux caractéristiques particulières de la biologie des parasitoïdes et associés à la compatibilité avec l'hôte et à son acceptation peuvent aussi être utilisés. L'élaboration de listes d'espèces vulnérables sur la base de leur écologie devrait être une pratique courante pour déterminer quelles espèces non ciblées doivent être testées pour leur vulnérabilité aux agents de lutte biologique, tant classiques que de libération en masse, et pour évaluer l'impact potentiel des espèces relâchées en masse.

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Receptor characterization of nontarget butterflies for risk assessment of biological control with the egg parasitoid Trichogramma minutum (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)

  • R.S. Bourchier (a1)

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