Journal or Book Title
International Journal of Pest Management
Transmission of parasites and pathogens is generally positively density-dependent: as an insect population's density increases, the risk of an individual becoming attacked or infected also increases. In some insect species, individuals experiencing crowded conditions are more resistant to natural enemies than those experiencing low density conditions, and they are predicted to divert resources to increase resistance. This phenomenon is called density-dependent prophylaxis. Here, possible expression of prophylaxis in fifth-instar larvae of Beet Webworm, Loxostege sticticalis, to biocontrol agents was investigated under rearing densities of 1, 10, and 30 larvae per jar (650 mL). Larvae reared at the moderate density and those reared in isolation displayed the greatest and lowest resistance, respectively, to an entomopathogenic fungus and a parasitoid. Moreover, larvae from the moderate density treatment exhibited elevated phenoloxidase, total haemocyte count and antibacterial activity in the haemolymph, whereas phenoloxidase levels in the midgut were not affected. The results suggest that larval rearing density significantly affects the immune system, and they provide evidence for density-dependent prophylaxis of larval L. sticticalis against its biocontrol agents. These results have implications for understanding the population dynamics and biocontrol of beet webworm.
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Kong, Hailong; Cheng, Yunxia; Luo, Lizhi; Sappington, Thomas W.; Jiang, Xingfu; and Zhang, Lei, "Density-dependent prophylaxis in crowded Beet Webworm, Loxostege sticticalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae to a parasitoid and a fungal pathogen" (2013). Entomology Publications. 202.