Main content area

Fecundity and feeding of Galerucella calmariensis and G. pusilla on Lythrum salicaria

McAvoy, T. J., Kok, L. T.
BioControl 2007 v.52 no.3 pp. 351-363
Galerucella calmariensis, Galerucella pusilla, Lythrum salicaria, adults, biological control, egg production, eggs, fecundity, larvae, larval development, leaves, progeny, survival rate, temperature
Fecundity and feeding of two introduced sibling biological control species, Galerucella calmariensis and G. pusilla (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L. (Lythraceae) were compared at constant temperatures of 12.5, 15, 20, 25, and 27.5 °C. Larval feeding was also carried out at 30 °C, but at this temperature, larvae developed only to the L2 stage and none pupated. Thus, data for this temperature were not used in the analysis. There were significant species × temperature interactions in fecundity. Of the two species, Galerucella pusilla laid more eggs. Although egg production of both species was lowest at 12.5 °C and increased to 20 °C, at higher temperatures, the two species reacted differently. From 25 to 27.5 °C, egg production decreased for G. pusilla, but G. calmariensis fecundity peaked at 27.5 °C. Significant temperature × species × life-stage interactions were also observed in feeding. For each species, the amount of feeding varied with temperature and stage of development. Galerucella pusilla adults consumed more foliage at 15, 20, and 27.5 °C. However, at 12.5 °C G. calmariensis adults fed more than G. pusilla. G. pusilla larvae consumed an average of 25% less foliage than G. calmariensis. The lower larval consumption of G. pusilla suggests that when food is limited, G. pusilla larvae may have a higher survival rate because of its ability to complete larval development with less food and produce more progeny due to its greater fecundity. When food is not limited neither species would have a competitive advantage and both species could coexist temporally and spatially. However, since G. calmariensis larvae consumed more leaf material, the larval stage of this species would have a greater impact on purple loosestrife than G. pusilla.