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Blister Beetles (Coleoptera: Meloidae) in Kansas Alfalfa: Influence of Plant Phenology and Proximity to Field Edge

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A 2-yr survey of blister beetles (Epicauta spp.) infesting Kansas alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) assessed the influence of in-field location, harvest cycle, and host phenological stage on insect density. Relative estimates of blister beetle densities were made, using a sweep net, along three in-field and one noncropped strata, oriented parallel to the field edge. Densities of beetles were very low during the first and fifth harvest cycles, suggesting that hay from these cuttings has lower cantharidin contamination risk and, therefore, requires minimal blister beetle management. Significant differences among strata were observed when blister beetles were summed over all phenological stages within second, third, and fourth harvest cycles. Blister beetle densities varied significantly among three in-field and one noncropped strata during vegetative, bud, and bloom phenological stages of the second harvest cycle and in bud and bloom stages of the third harvest cycle. Significantly lower numbers of blister beetles per field were observed in vegetative-stage than in bud- or bloom-stage alfalfa during harvest cycles two, three, and four. Blister beetles tended to occur with slightly to significantly greater frequency in alfalfa sampled 3 m into the field.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1990

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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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