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Danuta Woreta and Lidia Sukovata

Wpływ pokarmu na rozwój chrząszczy chrabąszcza kasztanowca (Melolontha hippocastani F.) (Coleoptera, Melolonthidae)

Open access

Danuta Woreta and Lidia Sukovata

Abstract

The survival, weight and relative growth rate (RGR) of the Melolontha spp. grubs feeding on roots of Quercus petraea, Q. robur, Fagus sylvatica, Betula pendula, Larix decidua, Alnus glutinosa and Pinus sylvestris, were examined. Overall, the youngest grubs L1 were the most affected by food quality. The mortality of the grubs feeding on the roots of A. glutinosa changed most rapidly and, consequently, LT50 was the shortest (25.9 days), whereas the slowest changes in mortality with the highest LT50 values were observed on the two oak species (54.9 and 44.9 days on Q. robur and Q. petraea, respectively). The RGRs of the L1 grubs were the highest on oaks, F. sylvatica and B. pendula. The overall rate of survival of the older grubs was high (66.7–100%). It was the lowest on the roots of B. pendula (L2 grubs) and L. decidua (L3 grubs), which at the same time displayed the highest RGRs. The interpretation of the results is difficult due to the lack of basic knowledge on the potential effects of food quality and other factors on grub metamorphosis. There is no doubt, however, that among the seven tested tree species the roots of A. glutinosa are the least favorable for the Melolontha grubs’ performance.

Open access

Danuta Woreta

Abstract

The article provides information about control of Melolontha spp. adults, the methods used in the past, chemical pest control as well as treatments applied today. In old times, cockchafer populations were reduced mechanically, by manual collection during the swarming period or by covering soil surfaces to prevent egg lying by females. Chemical pest control methods were introduced in the fifties of the 1900s, and in subsequent 50 years, they were improved to be less and less environmentally threatening. In many countries, including Poland, there have recently been introduced progressive restrictions on the use of insecticides in forestry. Banning chemical treatments against cockchafers resulted in going back to traditional methods and seeking alternate solutions, e.g. biological control agents. In the 1990s, polyethylene nets were used to prevent egg laying in the soil by cockchafer females. At the same time, there was tested possible usefulness of a botanical insecticide derived from neem (Azadirachta indica) to combat cockchafer adults. The net, which needs to be spread flat on the ground, can be effective in orchards, however, in forested areas, the success of this method was limited due to the specific structure of forest land. In general, both methods stimulated no interest on the part of forestry on account of technical obstacles and too high cost of the botanical insecticide. Neglecting treatments toward reduction of cockchafer excessive numbers during their ongoing outbreak can bring about adverse changes in the forest structure.

Open access

Danuta Woreta

Abstract

The paper presents a review of information on control measures used to prevent damages due to cockchafer Melolontha spp. grubs in European countries including Poland. There are described the methods used at times when mechanical and chemical treatments were applied as well as those under advanced research. In the past, cockchafer grubs were manually removed from plowed soils. Later on, chemical pest control commenced in plant protection practice, and a range of insecticides were either spotted directly onto plants or applied into planting rows, otherwise an entire planting area was treated. In that case, powder or granular insecticide formulations were mixed with upper soil layers, but liquid insecticides were poured into the soil around seedlings. The active substance of initial plant protection products used in Poland to control cockchafer grubs was lindane (organochlorine neurotoxin), which showed pretty high efficacy. Nevertheless, organochlorine products must have been withdrawn from the market and less damaging to the environment pesticides (organophosphates and carbamates) were recommended for use in forest protection against cockchafer grubs. As a result of progressive restrictions concerning application of chemicals into forest environment, alternate solutions have been sought, e.g. biological methods of cockchafer grub control have been tested. Up to date studies showed insecticidal properties of bacteria, fungi and nematodes. However, even though the knowledge and awareness of practitioners have raised with time, the problem of cockchafer grub populations damaging forest crops has not yet been solved and seems to be more and more difficult to overcome.

Open access

Danuta Woreta, Sławomir Lipiński and Robert Wolski

Abstract

This paper presents the results of studies on the life span, survival, weight and fecundity of the forest cockchafer (Melolontha hippocastani, Fabricius, 1801) and the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha, Linnaeus, 1758) beetle feeding on Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., Betula pendula Roth., Carpinus betulus L., Fagus sylvatica L., Larix decidua Mill., Prunus serotina (Ehr.) Borkh., Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl., Quercus robur L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Sambucus nigra L. and Sorbus aucuparia L. em. Hedl. The lifespan and weight of beetles as well as female fertility were examined in 2011 and 2013. Specimen for laboratory tests were collected in the field shortly after leaving their overwintering sites in the soil and identical experimental protocols were applied to both examined species. 576 and 432 beetles were tested in 2011 and 2013, respectively. In 2011, beetles were feeding on A. glutinosa, B. pendula, F. sylvatica, L. decidua Q. petraea leaves and on C. betulus, P. serotina, R. pseudoacacia, S. aucuparia and S. nigra in 2013. Both years, beetles feeding on Q. robur leaves were examined as a control. Our results showed that feeding on leaves of Q. robur and Q. petraea had the largest positive impact on the life time, weight and fecundity of the studied beetles. Leaves of F. sylvatica and L. decidua also constituted an adequate food source for the development of M. melolontha. M. hippocastani, however, did not perform as well when feeding on these two tree species. Females of M. melolontha reared on leaves of B. pendula did not lay eggs. The following plant species had a negative impact on the survival and development of the collected specimen and female fertility: A. glutinosa, S. nigra, P. serotina and R. pseudoacacia. Neither beetle species fed on the leaves of A. glutinosa or S. nigra.

Open access

Danuta Woreta, Robert Wolski, Sławomir Lipiński and Miłosz Tkaczyk

Abstract

The paper presets the results of the study on the life span, survival, body weight and fecundity of cockchafer (Melolontha spp.) adults feeding on the leaves of Betula pendula Roth., Quercus robur L., Q. rubra L., Acer platanoides L., Tilia cordata Mill. and Pinus silvestris L. inflorescences. The life span and body weight of adults, as well as female fertility were examined in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2015, the tested common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha L.) adults and forest cockchafer (Melololntha hippocastani F.) adults were fed on B. pendula., Q. robur and P. silvestris. In 2016, forest cockchafer adults were fed on B. pendula, Q. robur, Q. rubra, T. cordata, and in 2017 – on B. pendula., Q. robur T. cordata and A. platanoides. Adults of both species feeding on Q. robur were treated as the control. Adult specimens observed under laboratory conditions were collected in the field, shortly after leaving their overwintering sites in the soil. Our results showed that feeding on the leaves of Q. robur and Q. rubra had the greatest positive effects on the life span, body weight and fecundity of the studied cockchafer adults. M. melolontha females reared on the leaves of B. pendula laid no eggs. The leaves of A. platanoides constituted an adequate food source for the development of M. hippocastani. P. silvestris inflorescences proved to be the right food only for M. melolontha females. M. hippocastani adults feeding on T. cordata and B. pendula were characterized by a short life, decreasing body weight in the first days of observation and low fertility.