Montana's Huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) Mystery: Pollinators, Pests, and Potential Threats
Insects Found Inside Dissected Berries
The Tenthredinidae Pristiphora larvae were found feeding inside berries, which they had hollowed out and filled with frass. Three larvae were still alive and feeding, four were no longer alive but still in one piece, many were no longer alive and in multiple pieces. All of the live and whole individuals were dissected out of green, undeveloped berries that were still on the plant when the rest of the plants’ berries were ripe. However, some purple, damaged fruits also had frass and the remains of larvae inside. The four Eupelmidae and the one Braconidae dissected out of the berries were only found in berries with Tenthredinidae larvae, suggesting a parasitoid/host relationship.
Sawfly larvae (Pristiphora sp.) were collected at different sites than those where the adult Pristophora were collected earlier in the summer. Additionally, because two different Pristiphora species were collected as adults, it is not known if the adults collected from the plants and the larvae found inside the berries are of the same species.
Pristiphora larva dissected out of undeveloped berries. Photo: A. C. Dolan
Eupelmid wasp dissected out of undeveloped berries. These wasps were only found in fruits that also had Pristiphora larvae suggesting a parasitoid/host relationship. Photo from Bugguide.net.