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Encyclopedia > Spruce Budworm
Spruce Budworm
(Choristoneura Species)
Spruce Budworm larva
Scientific Classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Subkingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Endopterygota
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Division: Microlepidoptera
Superfamily: Tortricoidea
Family: Tortricidae
Subfamily: Tortricinae
Tribe: Archipini
Genus: Choristoneura

Spruce Budworm is a group of closely related insects in the genus Choristoneura. They are serious pests of conifers, especially Western Spruce Budworm, Choristoneura occidentalis and its eastern counterpart Choristoneura fumiferana. There are nearly a dozen Choristoneura species, subspecies, or forms, with a complexity of variation among populations found throughout much of the United States and Canada. Spruce Budworm is a group of closely related insects in the genus Choristoneura. ... spruce budworm public domain from usda This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Kingdoms Eukaryotes are organisms with complex cells, in which the genetic material is organized into membrane-bound nuclei. ... Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria Placozoa Bilateria Acoelomorpha Orthonectida Rhombozoa Myxozoa Superphylum Deuterostomia    Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... Phyla Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented worms Tardigrada - Water bears Onychophora - Velvet worms Arthropoda - Insects, etc. ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - Trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - Spiders, Scorpions, etc. ... Classes & Orders Class Insecta (insects) Unplaced orders:    Order Diplura    Order Collembola (springtails)    Order Protura The subphylum Hexapoda constitutes the largest (in terms of number of species) grouping of arthropods and includes the insects as well as a few much smaller groups of wingless arthropods closely related to insects: Collembola, Protura... Orders Subclass Apterygota Symphypleona - globular springtails Subclass Archaeognatha (jumping bristletails) Subclass Dicondylia Monura - extinct Thysanura (common bristletails) Subclass Pterygota Diaphanopteroidea - extinct Palaeodictyoptera - extinct Megasecoptera - extinct Archodonata - extinct Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Blattodea (cockroaches) Mantodea (mantids) Isoptera (termites) Zoraptera Grylloblattodea Dermaptera (earwigs) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets... Orders     Palaeodictyoptera - extinct     Ephemeroptera (mayflies)     Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)   Infraclass Neoptera     Blattodea (cockroaches)     Mantodea (mantids)     Isoptera (termites)     Zoraptera     Grylloblattodea (rock crawlers)     Dermaptera (earwigs)     Plecoptera (stoneflies)     Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)     Phasmatodea (walking sticks, timemas)     Embioptera (webspinners)     Mantophasmatodea (gladiators)    Superorder Hemipterodea     Psocoptera (booklice, barklice)     Phthiraptera (lice)     Hemiptera (true bugs)     Thysanoptera (thrips)    Superorder... Orders     Blattodea (cockroaches)     Mantodea (mantids)     Isoptera (termites)     Zoraptera     Grylloblattodea     Dermaptera (earwigs)     Plecoptera (stoneflies)     Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)     Phasmatodea (walking sticks, timemas)     Embioptera (webspinners)     Mantophasmatodea (gladiators)    Superorder Hemipterodea     Psocoptera (booklice, barklice)     Phthiraptera (lice)     Hemiptera (true bugs)     Thysanoptera (thrips)    Superorder Endopterygota     Miomoptera - extinct     Megaloptera (alderflies, etc. ... Orders Coleoptera Diptera Hymenoptera Lepidoptera Mecoptera Megaloptera Miomoptera Neuroptera Raphidioptera Siphonaptera Trichoptera Categories: Stub | Insects | Endopterygota ... Families About 130 - see text The Lepidoptera is the second largest order of insects comprising butterflies, skippers, and moths. ... Families See Lepidoptera. ... This article discusses categorisations of organisms. ... Microlepidoptera is an grouping of moth and butterfly families, commonly know as the smaller moths (Micro, lepidoptera). ... Author: Latreille, 1803 Type species: Tortrix viridana (Green Oak Moth) Diversity: 755 genera 6,338 species Subfamilies Chlidanotinae Tortricinae Olethreutinae Genera Tortrix and about 750 others The Tortricidae or Tortix moths are a family of the Lepidoptera. ... See genus (mathematics) for the use of the term in mathematics. ... Orders & Families Cordaitales † Pinales   Pinaceae - Pine family   Araucariaceae - Araucaria family   Podocarpaceae - Yellow-wood family   Sciadopityaceae - Umbrella-pine family   Cupressaceae - Cypress family   Cephalotaxaceae - Plum-yew family   Taxaceae - Yew family Vojnovskyales † Voltziales † The conifers, division Pinophyta, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. ...


Western Spruce Budworm

Western Spruce Budworm is the most widely distributed and destructive defoliator of coniferous forests in Western North America. The first recorded outbreak was in 1909 on the southeastern part of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Since that year, infestations of this and related species frequently have been reported in western Canada. Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada, off the Pacific coast. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendour without diminishment) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Area 944,735 km² (5th)  - Land 925,186 km²  - Water 19,549 km² (2. ...

This budworm was first reported in the United States in 1914 in Oregon; however, it was not recognized as a serious threat to western coniferous forests. Aerial spraying apparently terminated some smaller epidemics in the southern and central Rockies; others subsided naturally. It then appear dormant in US forests until 1922, when two outbreaks were reported near Priest Lake in northern Idaho. State nickname: Gem State Other U.S. States Capital Boise Largest city Boise Governor Dirk Kempthorne Official languages none Area 216,632 km² (14th)  - Land 214,499 km²  - Water 2,133 km² (0. ...

Subsequent widespread and destructive outbreaks in the Rocky Mountains and in the Pacific Northwest have caused topkilling, serious economic losses in tree growth, and some tree mortality primarily in regeneration, sapling, and pole-sized trees.

No typical pattern or trend in Western Spruce Budworm epidemics has been apparent; most of the early epidemics lasted for a few years and then subsided naturally; others persisted longer, at times without spreading over large areas. An epidemic in the northern Rocky Mountains, which began in 1949, has now persisted for more than 30 years, in spite of repeated insecticidal treatment between 1952 and 1966 of more than 6,000,000 acres (24,300 km²)


Adult moths are about 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) long and have a wing-spread of 7/8 to 11/8 inches (22 to 28mm). Moths of both sexes are similar in appearance, although the females are a bit more robust than males. Both sexes fly. The gray- or orange-brown forewings are banded or streaked, and each usually has a conspicuous white dot on the wing margin. Eggs are oval, light green, and about 3/64 inch (1.2mm) long and overlap like shingles.

Larvae develop through six stages. Newly hatched larvae are yellow-green with brown heads. In the next three stages, larvae have black heads and collars and orange- or cinnamon-brown bodies. In the fifth stage, larvae have reddish-brown heads marked with black triangles, black collars, and pale olive-brown bodies marked with small whitish spots. Mature larvae are 1 to 11/4 inches (25 to 32 mm) long, with tan or light chestnut-brown heads and collars and olive- or reddish-brown bodies with large ivory-colored areas.

Pupae are 1/2 to 5/8 inch (13 to 16 mm) long, broad at the head end, and narrower toward the tail. They are brownish-yellow or brownish-green at first, and later turn reddish-brown.

Spruce Budworm western budworm pub domain from usda File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Life History

Throughout most of its range, the Western Spruce Budworm completes one cycle of development from egg to adult within 12 months. Moths emerge from pupal cases usually in late July or early August; in the southern Rockies, adults often begin emerging in early July.

The adults mate, and within 7 to 10 days, the female deposits her eggs and then dies. Each female deposits approximately 150 eggs, usually on the underside of conifer needles. Eggs are laid in one to three-row masses containing a few to 130 eggs, with an average of 25 to 40 eggs per mass.

Larvae hatch from eggs in about 10 days. Larvae do not feed, but seek sheltered places under bark scales or in and among lichens on the tree bole or limbs. Here, they spin silken tents in which they remain inactive through the winter.

In early May to late June, larvae leave their hibernacula to search forfood. They first mine or tunnel into year-old needles, closed buds, or newly developing vegetative or reproductive buds.

New foliage, which is normally the preferred food, is usually entirely consumed or destroyed before larvae will feed on older needles. Larvae become full grown usually in early July about 30 to 40 days after leaving their overwintering sites.

Larvae pupate inwebs of silk they have spun either at the last feeding site or elsewhere on the tree. The pupal stage usually lasts about 10 days.

Eastern Spruce Budworm

The eastern version of the Spruce Budworm is Choristoneura fumiferana, which is one of the most destructive native insects in the northern spruce and fir forests of the Eastern United States and Canada. Periodic outbreaks of the spruce budworm are a part of the natural cycle of events associated with the maturing of balsam fir. Particularly major infestations occur every 40-60 years.

The first recorded outbreak of the spruce budworm in the United States occurred in Maine about 1807. Another outbreak followed in 1878. Since 1909 there have been waves of budworm out breaks throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. The States most often affected are Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These outbreaks have resulted in the loss of millions of cords of spruce and fir.

Balsam Fir is the species most severely damaged by the budworm in the Eastern United States. White, Red, and Black Spruce are suitable host trees and some feeding may occur on tamarack, pine, and hemlock. Spruce mixed with Balsam Fir is more likely to suffer budworm damage than spruce in pure stands. Binomial name Abies balsamea The Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) is an North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central Alberta) and the northeastern United States (Wisconsin east to Maine, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia). ... Binomial name Picea mariana The Black Spruce (Picea mariana) is a common coniferous tree in North America. ... Species About 35; see text. ...

The range of the spruce bud-worm includes the Northern States east of Montana but the budworm is found wherever host species grow.

The budworm also seriously affects regeneration. Young trees are especially vulnerable when growing beneath mature trees, since larvae disperse from the overstory and feed on the small trees below. Coniferous seedlings have relatively few needles and shoots and can be seriously deformed or killed by only a few larvae.


Budworm populations are usually regulated naturally by combinations of several natural factors such as insect parasites, vertebrate and invertebrate predators, and adverse weather conditions. During prolonged outbreaks when stands become heavily defoliated, starvation can be an important mortality factor in regulating populations.

This species is a favoured food of the Cape May Warbler, which is therefore closely associated with its host plant, Black Spruce. This bird, and the Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers, which also have a preference for budworm, lay more eggs and are more numerous in years of budworm abundance. Binomial name Dendroica tigrina (Gmelin, 1789) The Cape May Warbler, Dendroica tigrina , is a small New World warbler. ... Binomial name Picea mariana The Black Spruce (Picea mariana) is a common coniferous tree in North America. ... Orders Many - see section below. ... Binomial name Vermivora peregrina (Wilson, 1811) The Tennessee Warbler, Vermivora peregrina, is a New World warbler. ... Binomial name Dendroica castanea (Wilson, 1810) The Bay-breasted Warbler, Dendroica castanea , is a New World warbler. ...

Natural enemies are probably responsible for considerable mortality when budworm populations are low, but seldom have a regulating influence when populations are in epidemic proportions.

Chemical insecticides such as malathion, carbaryl, and acephate can substantially reduce budworm. Microbial insecticides such as the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring, host-specific pathogen that affects only the larvae of lepidopterous insects is environmentally safe to use in sensitive areas such as campgrounds or along rivers or streams where it may not be desirable to use chemical insecticides.

Appearances in the Media

in the Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy film Desk Set, the market cost of the annual depradations of the Spruce Budworm on United States forests is invoked as an example reference question in comparing the response times of human reference librarians and early computer databases. Katharine Hepburn Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an iconic star of American film and stage, widely recognized for her sharp wit, New England gentility and fierce independence. ... Spencer Tracy Spencer Bonaventure Tracy (April 5, 1900 - June 10, 1967) was an American film actor who appeared in 74 films from 1930 through the 1960s. ... Desk Set (or His Other Woman in the U.K.) is a 1957 romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy (as Richard Sumner) and Katharine Hepburn (as Bunny Watson). Its screenplay was written by Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron from the play by William Marchant. ... Wikipedia has its own reference desk which can be found here. ... The Librarian, a 1556 painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo A librarian is a person who develops procedures for organizing information and provides services that assist and instruct people in the most efficient way to identify and access any needed information or information resource (article, book, magazine, etc. ... A database is a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way, such that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Spruce Budworm Model (1766 words)
A key factor in determining the spruce budworm population is the leaf surface area per tree.
In an effort to understand the cycles of spruce budworm populations, and with an eye toward developing inexpensive and effective management of the problem, several scientists at the University of British Columbia (R. Morris, D. Ludwig, D. Jones and C.S. Holling) studied the problem and produced a series of mathematical models.
Large spruce budworm populations represent a loss to the landowner because any trees killed by budworm infestation cannot be sold to lumber mills.
  More results at FactBites »



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