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    The lymantriid forest defoliators, Lymantria monacha L. (nun moth) and Lymantria dispar L. (gypsy moth) are particularly severe pests in other countries in the world, but the ability of these moths to utilise and complete development on Pinus radiata D. Don had never been established. In laboratory trials, colonies of central European L. monacha and Russian far east (flight capable) L. dispar were fed on foliage from three mature P. radiata trees originating from three different advanced-selection families from New Zealand. The results showed that both moths were capable of completing their development from egg to adult on these families of P. radiata. However, P. radiata was a less suitable host for development of L. dispar than Quercus velutina Lam. (black oak), as evidenced by higher mortality and slower growth. Lymantria monacha developed faster and survived better on P. radiata than it did on mature foliage of Picea glauca (Moench) Voss. Neonate L. monacha larvae favoured male pine cones from Pinus strobus L. as a food source, but when these were absent did complete their development on P. radiata needles. There was no difference in larval development between those on the three P. radiata families tested. The study suggests anaccidental introduction of L. monacha to New Zealand, even more so than L. dispar, could have a serious impact on P. radiata plantations.

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    Withers, T.M.; Keena, M.A. 2001. Lymantria monacha (nun moth) and L. dispar (gypsy moth) survival and development on improved Pinus radiata. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science. 3(1): 66-77.


    Lyrnantriidae, larval feeding, development, survival, fecundity, no-choice trial, biosecurity risk, Lymantria monacha, Lymantria dispar, Pinus radiata

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