Larval performances and life cycle completion of the Siberian moth, Dendrolimus sibiricus (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), on potential host plants in Europe: a laboratory study on potted trees.
The Siberian moth, Dendrolimus sibiricus, Tschtv. is the most harmful defoliator of coniferous forests in North Asia. The pest has already spread over the Urals and continues moving westwards. Recently, it has been recommended for quarantine in member countries by European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). The performances of the pest on coniferous species planted in Europe were assessed on a range of potted trees corresponding to the spectrum of economically important conifers in the EU: European larch Larix decidua, Norway spruce Picea abies, Scots pine Pinus sylvestris, European black pine Pinus nigra, and the North American species: Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii and grand fir Abies grandis. Larvae showed a potential to survive and complete the development on all these host tree species. Favorable hosts were grand fir, European larch, and Douglas fir that allowed higher survival, better larval development, and as a result, yielded heavier pupae and adult moths with higher longevity. Black pine was a poor host but, however, could still support larval and pupal development. Norway spruce and Scots pine had an intermediate behavior. If accidentally introduced to Europe, the Siberian moth may become especially damaging in forest stands predominated by European larch and by the North American firs. Norway spruce and especially the two-needle pines will be less prone to intensive defoliation by this species. The fact that the pest may damage the range of economically important coniferous species should be taken into account in the pest risk assessment for Europe and also for North America where the Siberian moth occurrence is considered likely.