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Importation of live nursery plants, like Dracaena marginata Lamoureux (Ruscaceae), can provide a significant pathway for the entry of foliar pests from overseas into the United States. We studied the abundance of foliar pests of quarantine importance found on Costa Rican-grown
D. marginata. These include five genera of leafhoppers (Heteroptera: Cicadellidae, Oncometopia, Caldweliola, Diestostema, Gypona, and Empoasca), Florida red scale (Heteroptera: Disapididae, Chrysomphalus aoinidum (L.)), katydids (Orthoptera:
Tettigoniidae), and a snail (Succinea costarricana von Martens (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora, Succineidae)). In our first study, we examined the rationale behind size restrictions on Dracaena cuttings imported into the United States from Costa Rica. When comparing plant size,
no differences were found in the abundance of quarantined pests on small (15‐46 cm), medium (46‐81 cm), and large (81‐152 cm) propagules. In a second study, we estimated monthly abundances of pests in production plots for 1 yr to determine their relationship to rates of
interception at U.S. ports. In any given month, <6% of the marketable shoots standing in the field were infested with at least one quarantine pest. There was no relationship between the average monthly frequencies of pest detection in the field and in U.S. inspection ports. Pest detections
increased during the 1 mo when average monthly shipments were abnormally high. Our data suggest that off-shore postprocessing efforts to remove pest-infested material from the market stream need to be adjusted to accommodate sharp increases in the volume of shipped plants.
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.