Evaluation of Emergence Traps for Monitoring Blueberry Gall Midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Adults and Within Field Distribution of Midge Infestation

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The blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is a key pest of rabbiteye blueberry, Vaccinium virgatum Aiton, in the southeastern United States, but it has not been studied extensively and little is known about its ecology and management. Studies were conducted to develop an improved method for monitoring D. oxycoccana adults and to determine the within-field distribution of infestation. Four emergence traps were evaluated in an organic rabbiteye blueberry planting for their effectiveness in capturing D. oxycoccana adults early in the season. These traps included a jar trap, wheat blossom midge trap, petri dish trap, and bucket trap. The petri dish and bucket traps captured the highest numbers of adults in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Both traps had a clear plastic panel coated with adhesive. Adult midges emerging from the soil beneath the traps were caught in the adhesive as they flew up toward the light. Emergence traps are useful for detecting the presence of adults early in the season before larval infestation is apparent in the flower buds. To determine the pattern of midge infestation, flower buds were collected weekly from January to March in 2006 from rabbiteye blueberry plants located in a plot at the southwest border of an existing blueberry planting. There were no differences found in the number of larvae collected from various distances within blueberry rows. However, when flower buds were collected from an isolated rabbiteye plot in 2007 and 2008, D. oxycoccana infestation was not uniform. In both years, the southern border row had a significantly higher number of midge larvae per bud compared with the other rows.

Keywords: Dasineura oxycoccana; blueberries; distribution; emergence trap; rabbiteye

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC09317

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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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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