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Title: The history, ecology and potential control of the pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Scotland
Author: Hicks, Barry J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea, has been a serious pest of lodgepole pine in Scotland since 1976. It historically fed on native Scots pine but population levels of P. flammea on this host have not been high enough to cause tree mortality. This thesis reviews recent advances in the biology of the pest and documents control programmes targeted against the pest from 1976 to 2000. Practically uninterrupted population monitoring of the P. flammea occurred from 1977 to the present day in Scottish lodgepole pine plantations. While intervention with chemical spraying has occurred, there is an indication that the reductions observed in the unsprayed populations are the result of natural enemies. The compiled data suggested that populations of P. flammea have had a cyclic pattern over the monitoring period with outbreaks occurring at regular intervals of between 6 and 7 years. The amplitude of population cycles were large during the 1970s and 1980s, but have dampened in recent years. Natural enemies are believed to contribute to the cause of this trend. The population of P. flammea in Northern Scotland was severely affected by fungal disease during the summer of 1998. The fungi, Entomophaga aulicae, Batkoa major, Zoophthora sp., Nomuraea rileyi and Beauveria bassiana were recorded from P. flammea and infection of larvae by these fungi occurred in a density dependent fashion. The incidence of parasitism was different between the sites studied, however there was no difference in the parasitism between high and low density host populations. This is the first study to demonstrate that the diversity and impact of fungal pathogens affecting P. flammea is much greater now than in the past. Laboratory bioassays of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana against several life stages of the pine beauty moth P. flammea, showed that this fungus has the potential to be used as a biological control agent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available