Research Note

Biology of Litosermyle ocanae in Colombian Pinus patula plantations

Published in: Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science
Volume 80, issue 3, 2018 , pages: 279–284
DOI: 10.2989/20702620.2017.1334175
Author(s): Carlos A RodasForest Health Protection Programme, Colombia, Brett P HurleyDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), South Africa, María D BolañosForest Health Protection Programme, Colombia, Ginna M GranadosForest Health Protection Programme, Colombia, Michael J WingfieldDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), South Africa

Abstract

Plantations of Pinus spp. in Colombia are severely damaged by various phasmid (Phasmatodea: Diapheromeridae) insects. Of these, Litosermyle ocanae is one of the most serious defoliators. Since 1988, several outbreaks have been recorded in Pinus patula plantations, resulting in substantial economic losses. The aim of this study was to determine the life cycle of Litosermyle ocanae in P. patula plantations in Colombia. In addition, we assessed the population levels of L. ocanae and the presence of natural enemies of L. ocanae in these plantations. The development of L. ocanae was monitored under controlled conditions, and population fluctuations and the presence of natural enemies was assessed from field-collected eggs and field observations. The results showed a total life cycle of 225 d and 235 d for males and females, respectively, and a complete fourth instar nymph cycle of 121 d and 116 d for males and females, respectively. The sex ratio was 1:1.7 female to male. Females laid an average of 112 eggs. The number of eggs peaked in November and the most dominant natural enemy observed was a parasitoid wasp Adelphe sp. (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae). The results provide important information for the management of L. ocanae in P. patula plantations.

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