Ecological Station


GBOL III: Sub project 4: Case study to estimate the role of parasitoids during an outbreak of a forest pest

Main aims

German Barcode Of Life III: Dark Taxa will target the part of the German fauna that is still largely unknown, the so-called “Dark Taxa”. There are unknown and unstudied taxa in several taxonomic groups. Within GBOL III: Dark Taxa we will specifically tackle the Diptera (flies & midges) & the parasitoid Hymenoptera (parasitoid wasps) that together comprise about one quarter of the German Fauna.


The regular outbreaks of the Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) cause severe defoliation in oak and mixed-oak forests. For this reason large forest areas are treated with insecticides to control their propagation. In 2019 and 2020, ww collected more than 20.000 caterpillars via canopy fogging of whole oak trees in oak-mixed forest sites with high and low densities of Gypsy Moths. Furthermore, half of the forest sites were sprayed with the insecticid mimic. We want to identify the community cryptic (hyper-) parasitoids in the caterpillars via metabarcoding to measure the role of the parasitoids during an outbreak of the Gypsy moth. Additionally, we want to calculate caterpillar – parasitoid networks and how they react to the Gypsy Moth density and to the treatment with the insecticde.