This study investigated the dynamics of parasitism, host plant resistance, pathogens, and predation on the demography of wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus Norton (Hymenoptera: Cephidae), developing in susceptible (hollow stem) and resistant (solid stem) wheat hosts. This study is also the first to investigate the prevalence and impact of cannibalism on wheat stem sawfly mortality. Wheat stem sawflies were sampled in two commercial wheat fields over 4 yr from the egg stage through adult emergence, and multiple decrement life tables were constructed and analyzed. Cannibalism, host plant resistance, or unknown factors were the most prevalent factors causing egg mortality. Summer mortality of prediapause larvae ranged from 28 to 84%, mainly due to parasitism by Bracon cephi (Gaban) and Bracon lissogaster Muesebeck, cannibalism, and host plant resistance. Winter mortality ranged from 6 to 54% of the overwintering larvae, mainly due to unknown factors or pathogens. Cannibalism is a major cause of irreplaceable mortality because it is absolute, with only a single survivor in every multiple infested stem. Subsequent to obligate cannibalism, mortality of feeding larvae due to host plant resistance was lower in hollow stem wheat than in solid stem wheat. Mortality from host plant resistance was largely irreplaceable. Irreplaceable mortality due to parasitoids was greater in hollow stem wheat than in solid stem wheat. Host plant resistance due to stem solidness and parasitism in hollow stems cause substantial mortality in populations of actively feeding larvae responsible for all crop losses. Therefore, enhancing these mortality factors is vital to effective integrated pest management of wheat stem sawfly.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6