Comparative life tables of leek moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae), in its native range.

Jenner, W.H., Kuhlmann, U., Mason, P.G., and Cappuccino, N. (2009). "Comparative life tables of leek moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae), in its native range.", Bulletin of Entomological Research, 100(1), pp. 87-97. doi : 10.1017/S0007485309006804  Access to full text


Leek moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae), is an invasive alien species in eastern Canada, the larvae of which mine the green tissues of Allium spp. This study was designed to construct and analyse life tables for leek moth within its native range. Stage-specific mortality rates were estimated for the third leek moth generation at three sites in Switzerland from 2004 to 2006 to identify some of the principle factors that inhibit leek moth population growth in areas of low pest density. The contribution of natural enemies to leek moth mortality was measured by comparing mortality on caged and uncaged leeks. Total pre-imaginal mortality on uncaged plants was 99.6%, 99.1% and 96.4% in 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively. Variation in mortality was greater among years than among sites. Total larval mortality was greater than that in the eggs and pupae. This was due largely to the high mortality (up to 83.3%) of neonates during the brief period between egg hatch and establishment of the feeding mine. Leek moth pupal mortality was significantly greater on uncaged than on caged leeks, indicating an impact by natural enemies, and this pattern was consistent over all three years of study. In contrast, the other life stages did not show consistently higher mortality rates on uncaged plants. This observation suggests that the pupal stage may be particularly vulnerable to natural enemies and, therefore, may be the best target for classical biological control in Canada.

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