Reproductive biology of the European pine shoot moth Rhyacionia buoliana (Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera : Olethreutidae), with special reference to mating behavior, sex attraction, and fecundity Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s7526g65t

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  • Major objectives of the study involved development of a laboratory procedure to obtain mating, determining characteristics of female sex attraction, and determination of the effects of temperature and humidity on mating and fecundity. The second of two methods devised to obtain mating, "the vertical airflow technique," was convenient to employ and most efficient in producing mated females. This method resulted in 73 percent of the females mating within 48 hours. Mating was triggered by decreased illumination, and slow airflow directed from females toward males greatly facilitated sexual activity. Females varied in attractant potency, with some apparently incapable of attracting any males to sticky traps and others capturing high numbers. The source of pheromone production was a gland on the dorsum of the abdominal tip between the penultimate and terminal segments. Males could be attracted over distances up to 100 yards to sex attractant baits, and responded best to traps located in host pines as compared to traps in the open or in nonhost foliage. Mating efficiency decreased for both sexes after they were 4.5 days old. Females older than 2.5 days at the time of mating oviposited fewer eggs than females fertilized at a younger age. Average fecundity for females less than 2.5 days old when mated was 126 eggs. Males were capable of multiple matings, whereas females normally mated only once. Males copulated with an average of 2.24 females, although a small percentage never mated and others paired up to 5 and 6 times. Matings were observed at temperatures ranging from 54 to 92° F. Within the range of 65 to 85° F. there were no significant differences in mating efficiency. Fecundity was also unaffected within these limits with an accompanying high humidity. At 92° F., fecundity decreased and there was total egg mortality despite a high humidity. Fecundity decreased proportionately to decreasing air moisture (high evaporation rates) at temperatures of 85° F. or below. These detrimental influences of high evaporation rates and temperature could limit the geographic distribution of the European pine shoot moth, since most western pine regions are noted for hot, dry summer weather.
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