, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 125-131

First online:

Interactions between the introduced fungal pathogen Entomophaga maimaiga and indigenous tachinid parasitoids of gypsy moth Lymantria dispar in Bulgaria

  • Georgi GeorgievAffiliated withForest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • , Zdravko HubenovAffiliated withNational Museum of Natural History, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • , Margarita GeorgievaAffiliated withForest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • , Plamen MirchevAffiliated withForest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • , Maria MatovaAffiliated withForest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • , Leellen F. SolterAffiliated withIllinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois
  • , Daniela PilarskaAffiliated withInstitute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesFaculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Email author 
  • , Plamen PilarskiAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

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Interactions between the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), pathogenic fungus Entomophaga maimaiga, and the tachinid parasitoid (Diptera: Tachinidae) complex in gypsy moth larvae were investigated in Bulgaria, where E. maimaiga was recently released as a biological control agent. Gypsy moth larvae were collected in oak stands where E. maimaiga was originally introduced (nine sites) and in sites where the pathogen has invaded by natural extension of the range (ten sites). In total, 4,375 host larvae were examined and 401 tachinid larvae emerged from parasitized hosts. Host mortality caused by tachinids varied from 0 to 48.5% among sites, with an overall average of 9.2%. Emerging adult tachinid parasitoids included 54 individuals belonging to six species: Compsilura concinnata, Exorista larvarum, Senometopia separata, Senometopia excisa, Drino incospiqua and Zenilia libatrix; the remaining parasitoids (86.5%) died in the pupal stage. E. maimaiga azygospores were observed on puparia surfaces, an indication that the gypsy moth host larvae were infected with the fungus. No azygospores were observed in parasitoid tissues. The high parasitoid mortality may be the result of the competition with E. maimaiga during development in the same host.


Mortality Parasitism Tachinidae