The European gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar dispar L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) is an invasive insect in North America. Gypsy moth larvae are highly polyphagous and capable of extensive defoliation during population outbreaks. The United States maintains a quarantine across the established range of the gypsy moth to help slow the spread of the moth. One component of the quarantine requires that entities that move wood products across quarantine boundaries stage those wood products within a buffer zone area devoid of any host vegetation. The purpose of the buffer zone is to reduce the likelihood that late instar gypsy moth larvae will pupate nearby, emerge as adults, mate, and lay eggs on the wood. In practice, this buffer zone is 100 feet in radius. It is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of the buffer zone practice, however, due to our limited understanding of the movement ecology of these larvae. Here, I study the movement ecology of late instar larvae of European gypsy moths. I investigate how host type and food deprivation affects the movement capacity and behavior of larvae in the laboratory using a servosphere. I then quantify the movement capacity and behavior of larvae in a field experiment simulating the buffer zone environment.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. September 2018. Major: Entomology. Advisor: Brian Aukema. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 74 pages.
Effects of host type and food deprivation on the movement behavior of late-instar larvae of gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Erebidae).
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