Dendrolimus superans sibiricus (Siberian silk moth)
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IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Dendrolimus superans sibiricus Tschetv.
Preferred Common Name
- Siberian silk moth
Other Scientific Names
- Dendrolimus sibiricus Chetverikov
International Common Names
- English: larch caterpillar; Siberian coniferous silk moth; Siberian lasiocampid; Siberian moth
- Russian: Sibirskiy shelkopryad
Local Common Names
- Germany: Spinner, Sibirischer Arven-
- DENDSI (Dendrolimus sibiricus)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Lasiocampidae
- Genus: Dendrolimus
- Species: Dendrolimus superans sibiricus
DescriptionTop of page Eggs
The eggs are brown-yellow-green. They are oval, about 0.5-0.6 in length, sligthly flattened dorso-ventrally,1.5-2.0 mm. They are laid in masses on branches and twigs and needles.
Just after emergence the caterpillar is 5-7 mm long, but just before pupation it is 50-80 mm long.
After the end of feeding, caterpillars pupate on the branches or on the bark. The pupation period is very long, from May to July. The pupation takes place in a cocoon. Pupa is brown, 25-45 mm.
The male wingspan is 40-60 mm, the female wingspan is 60-80 mm, sometimes up to 100 mm. The front wings are brown-violet with one characteristic white spot.
DistributionTop of page D. superans sibiricus is widespread in the coniferous forests of Siberia, northern-east China, northern Mongolia and North Korea. The expansion of this species into coniferous forests to the west of the Urals (Peterson, 1904) was noticed at the beginning of the 20th century. In recent years it has been found in the central regions of the European part of Russia (Gninenko, 2000).
Outbreaks of this pest occur most frequently in coniferous forests connected with the mountain system of Sayan in East Siberia.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|China||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Heilongjiang||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Jilin||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Liaoning||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Nei Menggu||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|Kazakhstan||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|Korea, DPR||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|Korea, Republic of||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|Mongolia||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|Russian Federation||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Central Russia||Restricted distribution||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Eastern Siberia||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Russian Far East||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Siberia||Present||Greathead pers. comm|
|-Western Siberia||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page At present D.superans sibiricus is expanding its habitat, now occupying coniferous forests of the Russian Plain (Gninenko, 2001). Within the next few years it is expected to appear in forests of Finland, Belorussia, Latvia and Estonia. Furthermore in connection with global processes of climate change there is a risk of the expansion of this pest into northern and north-eastern regions of Siberia, including coniferous forests of Kamchatka and the Magadan region. It will be very difficult to control in these regions.
The movement of the pest to forests of East Europe which began at the beginning of the twentieth century is occurring naturally. So, the transboundary transportation of forest products, especially of round wood has little influence on the rate of spread of D. superans sibiricus to new regions.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page Caterpillars of D. superans sibiricus feed on many coniferous tree species. In the forests of the Sayan mountain system in East Siberia, Russia, the main host is Pinus sibirica. In Tyva, Northern Mongolia, and most parts of Transbaikalia, Evenkia and Yakutia, Russia, the main hosts are Larix sibirica and L. gmelinii. In the mountain forests of Altai, West Siberia, Russia, Kazakhstan and China, the main hosts are Abies sibirica, L. sibirica, Picea obovata and Pinus sibirica. In the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, Russia and North Korea, the main hosts are Pinus koraiensis, L. gmelinii and an Abies sp.
In forests of the Russian Plain the preferred tree species of D. superans sibiricus are unknown. However after the expansion of this pest into the forests situated to the west of the Urals in Bashkiria, Russia, it preferred to feed on needles of L. sibirica.
In Udmurtiya, Russia, D. superans sibiricus outbreaks that took place in the middle of the twentieth century covered spruce-fir forests (Okunev, 1955; Talman, 1957).
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / frass visible|
|Whole plant / external feeding|
|Whole plant / frass visible|
Biology and EcologyTop of page The development period of D. superans sibiricus usually lasts 2 years. Adults fly from the end of May to the beginning of June. After mating, females lay small groups of eggs on needles, branches and sometimes on the trunk (see Pictures). The prolificacy of females is usually about 200-250 eggs. The embryo development in an egg lasts about 10-15 days, caterpillars appear in June-July. They feed until late autumn and spend the first winter in forest litter. In spring, after most of the snow has thawed, caterpillars climb up to the crown and feed for the entire summer. In autumn they return to the forest litter where they spend their second winter. In spring they begin to feed intensively and pupate in May-June in cocoons made from crude web, which are placed in crowns, on branches or stems. In the warmest years some of the population of D. superans sibiricus can develop in just one year. Such years cause an outbreak to start.
D. superans sibiricus prefers coniferous forests on the southern slopes of mountain ranges (Matusevich, 1999) but it also occurs in coniferous forests of West Siberia and the eastern part of the Russian Plain.
The outbreaks occur routinely and sometimes cover large territories (Rozhkov, 1963, 1965; Boldaruyev, 1969; Gninenko, 2003; Gninenko, Orlinski, 2002).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Bacillus thuringiensis caucasicus||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. dendrolimus||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis||Pathogen||Larvae|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page The fullest report on parasites of this pest was given by Kolomiets (1962). There are 36 known species, which parasitize on different stages of the pest.
Telenomus gracillis very likely plays the most important role in the population dynamics of D. superans sibiricus. In different locations of outbreaks, T. gracillis destroyed up to 100% of its eggs (Kolomiets, 1962; Boldaruyev, 1969). In these locations, parasites such as Masicera zimini, Rhogas dendrolimi and Apanteles ordinarious were of great importance as well.
There are many pathogenic organisms that affect D. superans sibiricus (Golosova, 2003).
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Leaves||eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||Negative|
ImpactTop of page Outbreaks of D. superans sibiricus often cover vast areas and cause massive destruction of forests. According to Rozhkov (1965), between 1870 and 1952 in the Irkutsk region D. superans sibiricus destroyed an area of 1.1 million ha. Between 1931 and 1941 in the Chita region alone 1.5 million ha of larch forests were destroyed. In the first half of the twentieth century 2 million ha of forests perished as a result of damage caused by D. superans sibiricus in the Far East (Ivliev, 1966).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.At present the most used chemical preparations in Russia are some pyrethroid preparations as well as Bacillus thuringinesis, which is sometimes applied with the addition of dimilin (Gninenko and Sergeyeva, 2003; Kuteyev, 2000).
Monitoring of population number is carried out by different methods (Ilinsky and Tropin, 1965) including pheromone traps (Pletnev et al., 1999; Baranchikov et al., 1999).
An area no less than 1-2 million ha is annually involved in special inspections in different regions of Russia.
ReferencesTop of page
Baranchikov Yu N; Pet'ko VM; Klun DA; Mastro VK; Radzhenovich AA, 2000. Polovoj attractant i feromonnye lovushki klya monitoringa sibirskogo shelkopryada. Zashtita lesov Rossii i perspektivy ee razvitiya. MPR, Pushkino, s.7-8 (in Russian).
Boldaruyev VO, 1969. Dinamika chislennossti sibirskogo shelkopryada i ego parazitov . AN SSSR, Ulan-Ude (in Russian).
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Gninenko Yu I, 2003. Vspyshki massovogo razmnozheniya klesnych nasekomych v Sibiri i na Dal'nem Vostoke v poslednej chetverti XX veka . Lesochozyajstvennaya informaciya, N1, s. 46-57 (in Russian).
Gninenko Yu I; Sergeeva Yu A, 2003. Opyt ispol'zovaniya bakterial'nych preparatov dlya zashtity lesa v Rossii. Inf. Bull. N2. Biologiceskaya zashtita lesa i lesopatologicheskij monitoring. Pushkino, s.51-61 (in Russian).
Golosova MA, 2003. Biologicheskaya zashtita lesa . MGUL, Moscow (in Russian).
Ilijnsky AI; Tropin IV, ed. , 1965. Nadzor, uchjet i prognoz massovych razmnozhenij chvoe- listogryzyshtich nasekomych . Ltsnaya promyshlennost' Moscow (in Russian).
Ivliev LA, 1966. Sibirskij shelkopryad v lesach Dal'nego Vostoka . Avtoref. Kand. Dissert. Vladivostok (in Russian).
Kolomietc NG, 1962. Parazity i khishtniki sibirskogo shelkopryada. SO AN SSSR, Novosibirsk (in Russian).
Kuteev FS, 1999. Opyt biologicheskoj bor'by s sibirskim shelkopryadom . Zashtita tajozhnych lesov Sibiri ot sibirskogo shelkopryada. Gorno-Altajsk, s. 22-23 (in Russian).
Matusevich LS, 1999. Sibirskij shelkopryad v lesach Sibiri i Dal'nego Vostoka v XX veke .Zashtita tajozhnych lesov Sibiri ot sibirskogo shelkopryada. Gorno-Altajsk, s. 35-38 (in Russian).
Okunev PP, 1955. Mery bor'by s sibirskim shelkopryadom. Lesnoe khozyajstvo, 1955, N 3 (in Russian).
Petersen W, 1904. Uber Dendrolimus pini und D. segregatus. Bull. Russian Ent. Rev., 4.
Pletnev VA; Vendilo NV; Ponomarev VL; Mitroshin DB; Lebedeva KV, 1999. Poisk feromona sibirskogo shelkopryada Dendrolimus sibiricus . Zashtita tajozhnych lesov Sibiri ot sibirskogo shelkopryada. Gorno-Altajsk, 56-57 (in Russian).
Rozhkov AS, 1963. Sibirskij shelkopryad. Moscow, AN SSSR (in Russian).
Rozhkov AS, 1965. Massovoe razmnnozhenie sibirskogo shelkopryada i mery bor'by s nim . Moscow, AN SSSR (in Russian).
Tal'man PN, 1957. Vliyanie sredy i preobrazuyushtei eje roli cheloveka v svyazi s razmnozheniem sibirskogo shelkopryada. Tr. Leningadskoj LTA, vyp. 81, ch.3, 57-68 (in Russian).
Tur'yanov RA, 1999. Massovye razmnnozheniya sibirskogo shelkopryada (Dendrolimus sibiricus) na Yuzhnom Urale. Zashtita tajozhnych lesov Sibiri ot sibirskogo shelkopryada. Gorno-Altajsk, s. 69-74 (in Russian).
Vasil'ev IV, 1900. Shelkopryad v lesach Irkutskoj gubernii . Lesopromyshlennyj vestnik, N 4-5 (in Russian).
Distribution MapsTop of page
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