Mortality factors affecting the cabbage seedpod weevil, Ceutorhynchus obstrictus (Marsham), in its area of origin: A life table analysis.

Haye, T., Mason, P.G., Dosdall, L.M., and Kuhlmann, U. (2010). "Mortality factors affecting the cabbage seedpod weevil, Ceutorhynchus obstrictus (Marsham), in its area of origin: A life table analysis.", Biological Control, 54(3), pp. 331-341. doi : 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2010.06.004  Access to full text

Abstract

The cabbage seedpod weevil, Ceutorhynchus obstrictus (Marsham) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a widely distributed invasive pest of cruciferous crops in North America. Control measures rely mostly on the application of insecticides but alternative control strategies such as classical biological control are under evaluation. To investigate the impact of parasitoids and other mortality factors on C. obstrictus populations, life table studies were conducted between 2005 and 2007 in 13 winter oilseed rape fields in Switzerland, part of the native range. Under field conditions females only realized approximately 50% of their potential lifetime fecundity, varying between 96 and 631 eggs per individual. Total generational mortality was higher than 99.6% in each year. Overwintering mortality of adults was the major population limiting factor, contributing approximately 50% to the overall generational mortality of C. obstrictus, whereas factors acting on the immature stages were responsible for the remaining 50%. Among the mortality factors of the immature stages, egg, larval and pupal mortality contributed 9-12%, 25-28% and 4-6% to the generational mortality, respectively. Larval ecto-parasitism on its own accounted for 7-15% of the generational mortality. Comparison of life table data presented here with that from North America will be invaluable for elucidating the mortality factors that regulate C. obstrictus populations in Europe, the region of origin.

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