Potato Leafhopper Trapping Studies to Determine Local Flight Activity1

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Local voluntary flight of the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), was investigated to help explain fluctuations in population density, and the postulated relationship between voluntary flight and long-distance involuntary dispersal.

Sticky traps associated with alfalfa cutting treatment plots indicated that the pattern of local flight was one of generally low level flight amongst the vegetation, except when the insects were disturbed by some drastic action such as harvesting. Preferences for colored surfaces indicated that yellow was the best color for sticky traps.

In 1957, the use of a combination of blacklight and colored fluorescent lamps in paired omnidirectional light traps was no more efficient than use of a single blacklight lamp.

In 1958 and 1959, the light trap used was a Shands aphid trap with the top modified for attachment of a metal container with a blacklight lamp and collection jar. Peak light-trap catches were associated with one or more of the following factors: passage of a weather front, harvest of nearby alfalfa, or a major change in the field-population density. The effect of several individual weather factors on light-trap catches was investigated. In 1957 the most important factors affecting light-trap catches were temperature and vapor pressure deficit. In 1958 and 1959, the only important weather factor was the wind. Changes in population density and innate flight behavior appeared to be reflected to a greater extent in the 1958 and 1959 light-trap catches than in the 1957 catches.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1966

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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