Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




Ivan G. Palmblad


Populations of Delphinium occidentale (Ranunculaceae)were monitored over two summers for the presence and dispersion of various life stages of several host specific phytophagous insects. Observations were made at several sites in the Wasatch National Forest east of Logan, Utah. Two species of larkspur aphid (Aphis rociadae and Kakimia wahinkae) were encountered. Although dispersal of alate individuals resulted in widespread infestation of the host plant population, aphids occurred initially on the same one or few plants at each site both springs. Little coexistence of the two species of aphid on the same plant was observed, perhaps because they partitioned the host plant resource according to light intensity under the incomplete aspen canopy. Several species of lepidopteran larvae, of uncertain host specificity, were observed. Two species (Autographa californica and pyrrhia expremins: Noctuidae) are known from cultivated host plants. Eggs of an unidentified geometrid (Lepidoptera) were located on the host plants in large numbers and their dispersion was analysed. The eggs were distributed nonrandomly over the host plant population, but attempts to further characterize the pattern were fruitless. Parasitism of the eggs by an unidentified hymenopteran was observed. Mortality of all larvae was high. Successful migration of larvae was not observed. Mature larvae were not sufficiently abundant to permit statistical study of pattern. Mature fruits were examined at the end of the growing season for larkspur maggots (Hylemya laxifrons). Maggots were found in 85 percent of the inflorescences sampled. Pteromalids (Hymenoptera) were also found in an apparently parasitic relationship with the maggots in the fruits. Maggots were not found in the surviving fruits of inflorescences infested with either species of aphid. Suggestions are given for future work.



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