Turkish Journal of Zoology




Abraxas pantaria (L.) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), the spotted ash looper (Light Magpie), is recognized as a new pest of common ash, Fraxinus excelsior (L.) in the eastern part of Turkey. Description of different developmental stages of A. pantaria is given. Its development, biology, damage, and parasitoids were studied in the field (Aras Valley, Karakurt, Sarıkamış, Kars Province) and partly in the laboratory during 2004-2006. In the field adults started to appear at the end of June and were seen until the middle of August. The eggs were laid mostly on the lower sides of leaves adjacent to the midrib in single layer batches. The newly hatched caterpillars fed on lower epidermis and parenchyma tissue till becoming third instar, leaving a network of veins on the upper epidermis. Then the caterpillars dispersed and started feeding on the edges of the leaves. The full grown caterpillars hanged down by means of silky threads and entered the soil to pupate. Abraxas pantaria had one generation per year in the ecological conditions of Karakurt, and overwintered as pupa in the soil. As the parasitoid Cotesia callimone (Nixon) (Braconidae) was reared from the caterpillar of A. pantaria. Coelichneumon sp. and Cratichneumon fabricator F. (Ichneumonidae) emerged from overwintered pupae. Pales pavida (Meigen) [Tachinidae] was reared from the pupae in the fall. Both braconid and ichneumonid species were reared from A. pantaria for the first time.


Abraxas pantaria, pest, biology, Fraxinus excelsior, Coelichneumon sp., Cratichneumon fabricator, Pales pavida, Cotesia callimone, parasitoid, Turkey

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