ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 198–203. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text © N.I. Kirichenko, Yu.N. Baranchikov, 2007, published in Ekologiya, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 216–221.
The Siberian moth
Dendrolimus superans sibiricus
Tschetv. (Lepidoptera, Lasiocampidae) is the main pest
of conifers of the family Pinaceae in northern Asia
(Rozhkov, 1963). Specialists attributed Siberian moth
populations from different parts of its range to groups of
ambiguous taxonomic status referred to as races (Florov,
1948; Boldaruev, 1969) or tribes (Rozhkov, 1963). These
groups have certain distinctive morphological features
and differ in the duration of their life cycle and the asso-
ciation of primary foci with a certain dominant food spe-
cies (larch, ﬁr, or Siberian stone pine). In this context, of
special interest is the study of trophic characteristics of
geographically distant pest populations associated with
different conifer species. This is especially relevant
today, when the range of this pest expanded westward
over the Urals (Gninenko, 2001), to the areas where pine
and spruce dominate in conifer forests.
The purpose of this study was to compare feeding
and growth parameters of Siberian moth larvae from
two geographically distant populations belonging to
different races, which were reared in an insectarium
and fed the needles of different conifer species.
OBJECTS AND METHODS
Experiments were performed in the insectarium of
the Sukachev Institute of Forests, Siberian Division,
Russian Academy of Sciences (Krasnoyarsk) in 2000
and 2001. Siberian moth larvae were collected in
decaying pest foci in pure larch stands of the Turanskii
forest enterprise, the Tyva Republic (the larch popula-
tion, LP), and in ﬁr forests with an admixture of Sibe-
rian stone pine in the Biya–Katun interﬂuve, the Altai
Republic (the ﬁr population, FP). According to Bold-
aruev (1969), these population belong to the larch and
ﬁr races of the Siberian moth, respectively.
The ﬁrst to ﬁfth instar larvae collected in nature were
divided into four groups that were placed in the insectar-
ium on the needles of different conifers: larch, ﬁr, spruce,
and pine. After molting into the fourth instar, the larvae of
each population were kept individually in Petri dishes (25–
30 replications for each food plant). Emerged adult moths
were mated within the groups belonging to the same
ancestral population and fed on the same conifer species.
The eggs laid by females were counted and weighed indi-
vidually on a VLP-424 analytical balance with an accu-
racy of 0.1 mg. Hatching larvae were counted every day.
They were reared in the laboratory to the ﬁfth instar inclu-
sive. It should be noted that the feeding and growth of the
fourth instar larvae were assessed from May to July,
whereas the study on the ﬁrst to ﬁfth instars of the next
generation were performed from July to September, which
corresponded to the period of their feeding in nature.
The larvae were fed the needles of four conifer spe-
L. Fresh small
branches with needles were collected every morning in
different sites within the green belt of Krasnoyarsk in
order to exclude the effect of food plant habitat on the
parameters of larval feeding and growth.
The larvae were reared at 21–23
C, 60–70% humid-
ity, and a 18 : 6 (light–dark) photoperiod. At the ﬁrst
Appropriateness of Needles of Different Conifer Species
for the Feeding and Growth of Larvae from Two Populations
of the Siberian Moth
N. I. Kirichenko and Yu. N. Baranchikov
Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk, 660036 Russia;
Received December 21, 2005
—A comparison of two Siberian moth populations from the Altai Republic (feeding on Siberian ﬁr)
and the Tyva Republic (feeding on Siberian larch) has revealed no differences between them with respect to
ecophysiological parameters of larval growth and feeding on needles of the same conifer species under labora-
tory conditions. The index of appropriateness of food plants for the larvae from both populations decreases in
the series larch > ﬁr > spruce > pine. The age-related dynamics of parameters characterizing the feeding and
growth of larvae are independent of the population to which the insects belong.
: Siberian moth, food plants, larval feeding and growth.