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Unexpected Listronotus bonariensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) mortality in the presence of parasitoids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

S.L. Goldson*
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
J.R. Proffitt
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
M.R. McNeill
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
C.B. Phillips
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
N.D. Barlow
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
D.B. Baird
Affiliation:
AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
*
*Fax: +64 3 983 3904 E-mail: stephen.goldson@agresearch.co.nz

Abstract

Field enclosure and laboratory cage experiments designed to measure the impact of the parasitoid Microctonus hyperodae Loan on the Argentine stem weevil, Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) have shown that under high parasitoid pressure, there is significant weevil mortality without obvious parasitism. Parasitoid-exposed, but unparasitized portions of caged populations died at rates significantly higher than both the parasitized weevils from the same population and the unexposed controls. Unexpectedly, parasitized weevils had the lowest mortality rates (prior to larval parasitoid emergence). It was of ecological significance that this mortality effect was detected under field conditions using several years of empirically-collected population dynamics data. Under both field and laboratory conditions this mortality was found to occur within shorter time intervals than that required for full parasitoid larval development; thus it could not be attributed to the mortality that occurs after the emergence of prepupal parasitoids. The mechanism for this mortality remains undetermined, although it could possibly be linked to pseudoparasitism.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2004

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