Habitat and Food Preferences of Allonemobius allardi (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) and Potential Damage to Alfalfa in Conservation-Tillage Systems

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Population estimates of the cricket Allonemobius allardi (Alexander & Thomas) in orchardgrass, Dactylis glomerata L.; alfalfa, Medicago sativa L.; and weedy fields revealed significantly lower cricket densities for alfalfa compared with orchardgrass and weed fields. However, densities were not significantly different between orchardgrass and weed fields despite a considerable dissimilarity in vegetative composition. Laboratory feeding studies suggest that crickets preferred to forage on the substrate and had difficulty recognizing preferred food plants that were elevated above the substrate. Crickets preferred alfalfa to bluegrass, thatch, or oats, but preferred bluegrass to thatch. No significant difference in feeding was observed between whole alfalfa leaves and alfalfa leaf disks when poth were placed horizontally on the testing arena substrate. The contents of crops from field-collected crickets showed Alternaria, rust spores, and fungi occur relatively frequently but do not account for a substantial percentage of cricket crop contents. Legumes and dandelion also occur with a moderately high frequency and are a major component of cror contents. Cage tests in glasshouse and field showed one to two cricket adults per 0.09 m reduced alfalfa seedling numbers by 1-20% in the 2 wk from seedling emergence to formation of the first trifoliate in conservation-tillage systems when alfalfa was planted in oat stubble.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1992

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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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