Periodic introductions of the Asian subspecies of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar asiatica Vnukovskij and Lymantria dispar japonica Motschulsky, in North America are threatening forests and interrupting foreign trade. Although Asian gypsy moth has similar morphology to that of European and North American gypsy moth, it has several traits that make it a greater threat, the most important being the flight capability of females. Asian gypsy moth is not yet established in North America; however, infestations have been detected multiple times in Canada and the United States. To facilitate detection and eradication efforts, we evaluated the effect of a range of temperatures on development time, survivorship, and fertility of eight populations of Asian gypsy moth. There were significant impacts of temperature and population on these life history characteristics. The larval developmental rate increased with temperature until it reached an optimum at 29 °C. Larvae experienced significant molting problems at the highest and lowest temperatures tested (10 °C and 30 °C). At 30 °C, female fitness was markedly compromised, as evidenced by reduced fecundity and fertility. This suggests that development and survival of Asian gypsy moth may be limited by summer temperature extremes in the Southern United States. We also determined the degree-day requirements for two critical life stages and two populations of Asian gypsy moth, which represent the extremes in latitude, to predict the timing for biopesticide application and adult trap deployment. Our data will benefit pest managers in developing management strategies, pest risk assessments, and timing for implementation of management tactics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science