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Biology, ecology and parasitoids of Agapanthia villosoviridescens DeGeer 1775 An important stem-borer of thistles


, : Biology, ecology and parasitoids of Agapanthia villosoviridescens DeGeer 1775 An important stem-borer of thistles. Zoologischer Anzeiger 229(1-2): 42-53

The biology and life-history of Agapanthia villosoviridescens, a species feeding in the stems of thistles and various other herbaceous plants, is described. Detailed information on oviposition, number and distribution of larval instars, their behavior, as well as on resource utilization is given. Average attack-rates in Cirsium-species vary significantly (range: 0.10 (Cirsium vulgare) to 1.08 (Cirsium palustre) individuals per plant). 9 to 46% of all plants were attacked. In the small host plant Cirsium arvense attacked plants were significantly thicker than non-attacked ones, while in Cirsium palustre and Cirsium oleraceum these values did not differ. Increasing plant size did in all cases not lead to increasing numbers of individuals per plant. On late sampling dates smaller plants contained lower average larval instars. The role of stem and pith diameter for suitability of a host plant are discussed. On average, 41% of all Agapanthia villosoviridescens individuals were parasitized by the egg-ectoparasitoid Chlorocytus sp. nov., while 58% of all Agapanthia-infested plants were attacked. The dominant parasitoid species Chlorocytus sp. nov. combines elements of the strategies of idiobionts and koinobionts. Attack-rates of the highly synchronized parasitoid were inversely density dependent. The determination of population biology of Agapanthia villosoviridescens from three trophic levels is discussed.

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