Oviposition Patterns of the Strawberry Bud Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) at Two Spatial Scales and Implications for Management

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The strawberry bud weevil, Anthonomus signatus Say, is an important pest of strawberries in eastern North America. Typically, growers treat entire fields with insecticides on an annual basis when the number of clipped buds exceeds a threshold. The 3 objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to determine the distribution of weevil injury within strawberry fields, (2) to determine if managing only field borders would be effective, and (3) to determine if weevils preferentially oviposit in particular orders of flowers on an inflorescence. During a 3-yr monitoring period (1992–1994), A. signatus oviposition activity increased unidirectionally at a rate of ≈8 m or 10 rows (1.25 m centers) per year. In 7 grower fields in New York, only the 12-m perimeter of strawberry fields treated with insecticide reduced injury to a level similar to interior portions of the field. In the interior of these fields, insecticide treatments did not influence the level of weevil damage. Even when weevils damaged floral buds, only a small proportion (7%) were primary flowers that produce the largest fruit. On average, oviposition occurred disproportionally in secondary flower buds. These observations indicate that A. signatus can be managed effectively by treating the outside perimeter of fields rather than entire fields, planting cultivars that compensate the most for clipper injury on the perimeter, and suggest that thresholds could be raised because damage to large, primary buds is limited.

Keywords: Anthonomus signatus; border; distribution; edge effect; sampling; strawberry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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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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