Great Basin Naturalist


The influence of current year foliage age on food consumption and utilization by the western spruce budworm, Choristoneura occidentalis (Lepidoptera:Tortricidae), was examined. Larvae were fed immature foliage of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), and corkbark fir (Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica) in June and August of 1981 and Douglas fir in June and July of 1982. All larvae feeding on early season (June) foliage reached maturity. Larvae feeding on middle (July) and late (August) season foliage died before reaching pupation. Relative growth rate and efficiency of conversion of ingested food decreased with foliage age in both the 1981 and 1982 experiments. Relative consumption rate increased with foliage age in the 1981 and decreased in the 1982 experiment.