Eur. J. Entomol. 104 (1): 153-158, 2007 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2007.022

Impact of poor host-parasitoid synchronisation on the parasitism of Cameraria ohridella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)

Giselher GRABENWEGER*,1, Hildegard HOPP1, Barbara JÄCKEL2, Hartmut BALDER1, Tanja KOCH1, Silke SCHMOLLING1
1 University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Luxemburger Strasse 10, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
2 Official Bureau of Plant Protection Berlin, Mohriner Allee 137, D-12347 Berlin, Germany

Poor synchronisation is considered to be one important reason for the ineffective control of the invasive horse chestnut leafminer by native parasitic Hymenoptera. Parasitoids hibernating in dry horse chestnut leaves break diapause early in spring and presumably leave the vicinity, since no hosts are available when they emerge. As a consequence, the percentage parasitism of the first generation of the leafminer in early summer is low. The experiments presented below were designed to test this hypothesis. Horse chestnut saplings were brought on in a greenhouse and infested artificially with C. ohridella prior to parasitoid emergence in the field. These saplings were then exposed to parasitoid attack under natural conditions to eliminate the synchronisation problem. In addition, the parasitoid complexes of other leafmining hosts, which appear early in the season, were analysed. The results confirm that the most important parasitoids of the horse chestnut leafminer are active early in the season, long before the larvae of the first generation of the host are present. Nevertheless, poor synchronisation with the invasive host did not significantly influence the abundance of the most important parasitoid in the complex, Minotetrastichus frontalis, and consequently had no impact on the parasitism of C. ohridella. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of the parasitoid community shows that certain species are affected by poor synchronisation, while others are probably limited by ecological parameters, such as a specialisation to foraging in particular strata of vegetation. Several leafmining flies were found early in spring infesting other host plants commonly planted in urban green areas, including species with a parasitoid complex similar to that of C. ohridella. The role of these alternative hosts in the food web associated with the horse chestnut leafminer should be subject to further study.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae, Cameraria ohridella, leafminer, horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, parasitoid, Hymenoptera, Eulophidae, parasitism, synchronisation, biological control

Received: June 12, 2006; Accepted: September 11, 2006; Revised: September 11, 2006; Published: January 3, 2007Show citation

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GRABENWEGER, G., HOPP, H., JÄCKEL, B., BALDER, H., KOCH, T., & SCHMOLLING, S. (2007). Impact of poor host-parasitoid synchronisation on the parasitism of Cameraria ohridella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Eur. J. Entomol.104(1), 153-158. doi: 10.14411/eje.2007.022.
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