, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 123–131 | Cite as

Analysis of the causes of declines in Western Siberian outbreaks of the nun moth Lymantria monacha

  • Alexandr Ilyinykh


This study presents the results of an investigation into the causal factors of precipitous population declines after five mass outbreaks of nun moths (Lymantria monacha) in territories of Western Siberian (Novosibirsk and Tyumen oblasts, Russia). Nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) and parasitoids represented by the families Tachinidae and Sarcophagidae (Diptera) were found to be major contributors to the degradation of these outbreaks. Viable occlusion bodies persisted on pine needles during a two-year observation period and contaminated nun moth eggs, resulting in the death of the insects from NPV infection. A high probability of insect/virus contacts was largely attributable to the poor flying ability of female moths. Moreover, a latent virus was apparently activated in part of the insect population due to asynchrony between the growth rate of larvae and pine phenology.


Nun moth Lymantria monacha Nucleopolyhedrovirus Parasitoids Outbreak degradation Western Siberia 



The author would like to thank A.V. Pikalov, N.G. Kholodilov, V.P. Zhugova, I.O. Cheshenko, S.A. Bakhvalov, N.V. Shkuropadskaya and F.A. Ilyinykh for their assistance in performing the experiments. I would also like to sincerely thank I.R.L. Smith for his thoughtful and constructive comments on the manuscript. Moreover, I am grateful to the anonymous reviewers and to Editor-in-Chief Eric Wajnberg for their useful comments about this manuscript. This work was supported in part by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project nos. 99-04-49902, 03-04-48595, and 07-04-00776.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Animal Systematics and EcologySiberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

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