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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SYSTEMATICS OF MOTHS, LEAFHOPPERS, AND TRUE BUGS OF IMPORTANCE TO AGRICULTURAL, FOREST, AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
The larvae of moths and the nymphs and adults of true bugs and leafhoppers inflict millions of dollars in damage to agricultural, ornamental, and forest plants annually, which elicits the additional expenditure of millions of dollars for pesticides and other control and management activities. In contrast, a wide array of moths and true bugs may be highly effective biological control agents against noxious and/or invasive weed pests for the same reasons they are important pests of crops. Efficacious exclusion of invasive plant pests, successful detection and management of those already established in the United States, and the selection of appropriate biological control agents all require the accurate identification of these insects, as well as an understanding of their relationships to similar organisms and in-depth knowledge of their biologies. The proposed research uses morphological, biological, biogeographical, and to a limited degree molecular approaches to classify and characterize difficult groups that are considered either pests (owing to their plant-feeding habit or ability to vector plant pathogens) or beneficials (owing to their predatory habits or their selective herbivory on noxious weeds). Specific groups examined include leafroller moths (Tortricidae), cutworm moths (Noctuidae), snout moths (Pyraloidea), true bugs (Miridae), and leafhoppers (Cicadellidae). Knowledge of their classification and relationships is essential for accurate identification, for providing a context for assessing host specificity for potential biological control agents, and for developing hypotheses of which species have the greatest likelihood of invading and becoming establishing within the U.S.

The project has three specific goals: (1) conduct systematic studies on plant pests and beneficial insect groups of importance to U.S. agriculture; (2) develop electronic resources to enhance technology transfer of research products via the web; and (3) provide expert identification and curatorial services.

The research undertaken falls under National Program 304 - Crop Protection and Quarantine, which mandates the investigation of potential and actual plant pests of importance to U.S. agriculture and species with high potential as biological control agents. The proposed research provides various U.S. state (extension services, universities) and federal agencies (e.g., ARS, APHIS) and foreign governments with the tools necessary to accurately identify agriculturally important pests, to better understand the range of crops and native plants upon which they feed, to recognize predators and herbivores that may be useful for biological control, and to make predictions about the pest potential of closely related species. The exclusion and control of invasive species relies heavily on taxonomic information on a worldwide basis. The research will provide scientists and extension personnel with names to use when communicating about, or studying insect pests. Errors in identification may result in monetary loss and/or misdirected efforts, or permit the introduction of pests that may threaten agricultural commodities or entire agroecosystems or native ecosystems. The proposed research will enhance the probability of successful implementation of biological control programs.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY 2005) 1.1. Complete revisions of 5 species groups of North American Heliothinae.

1.2. Complete examination of type specimens for 5 genera of North American Cochylini (Henricus, Rudenia, Lorita, Carolella, "Atroposia").

1.3. Revision of Herpetogramma not scheduled to begin until FY 2006.

1.4. Study Diatraea type specimens deposited in The Natural History Museum, London, and compared them with USNM specimens.

1.5. Complete review of relevant literature for monograph of New World Isometopinae. 1.6. Complete sorting of specimens into species groups for monograph of Ceratocapsini.

1.7. Complete accumulation of specimens from most major institutions for revision of Acrogonia and define limits of genus.

2.1. Complete addition of authors to plant names in food plant database of leafroller moths.

2.2. Identify homonyms in Cicadellidae and propose replacement names in publication; complete hardcopy and on-line checklist of the subfamily Cicadellinae.

2.3. Complete data capture for type specimens of Immidae and Choreutidae in USNM collection.

3.1. Provide expert identifications for customers and stakeholders, and maintain and enhance the National Insect Collection.

Year 2 (FY 2006) 1.1. Complete examination of borrowed specimens of North American Heliothinae.

1.2. Complete descriptions or re-descriptions and diagnoses for 5 genera of North American Cochylini (Henricus, Rudenia, Lorita, Carolella, "Atroposia").

1.3. Complete examination of Herpetogramma type specimens for revision of genus.

1.4. Complete field work and dissection of specimens for revision of Diatraea.

1.5. Complete sorting and identification of all available material for monograph of New World Isometopinae.

1.6. Complete descriptions and keys to Renodaeus species group for monograph of Ceratocapsini.

1.7. Complete specimen data collection for the revision of Acrogonia; begin search for characters to diagnose species. 2.1. Complete addition of authors to moth names in food plant database of leafroller moths.

2.2. Complete on-line and hard-copy checklist of the subfamily Deltocephalinae; identify new combinations in the subfamily Typhlocybinae.

2.3. Track down original descriptions of species of Immidae and Choreutidae for which the type specimen is deposited in USNM collection.

3.1. Provide expert identifications for customers and stakeholders, and maintain and enhance the National Insect Collection.

Year 3 (FY 2007) 1.1. Complete identification of species groups of North American Heliothinae.

1.2. Complete examination of type specimens for 5-6 additional genera in the leafroller tribe Cochylini.

1.3. Complete draft descriptions and diagnoses of described and undescribed species for revision of Herpetogramma.

1.4. Complete diagnoses and re-descriptions of described species of Diatraea.

1.5. Complete photographs and electron micrographs for monograph of new World Isometopinae.

1.6. Complete descriptions of and keys to species of North American Ceratocapsini.

1.7. Complete lists of diagnostic characters and draft descriptions of all species of Acrogonia.

2.1. Complete capture of data on leafroller food plants from literature discovered in Zoological record.

2.2. Complete on-line and hard-copy checklist of the subfamily Typhlocybinae (ca. 5,157 species).

3.1. Provide expert identifications for customers and stakeholders, and maintain and enhance the National Insect Collection.

Year 4 (FY 2008) 1.1. Resolve all species-level problems for monograph on North American Heliothinae.

1.2. Complete descriptions or re-descriptions for 5-6 additional genera in the leafroller tribe Cochylini.

1.3. Finalize descriptions and diagnoses for Herpetogramma species.

1.4. Complete diagnoses and descriptions of new species of Diatraea.

1.5. Complete diagnoses and descriptions of all species for monograph of New World Isometopinae.

1.6. Complete identification of monophyletic genera of remaining genera of Ceratocapsini.

1.7. Complete illustrations of species; begin work on identification key of Acrogonia.

2.1. Complete capture of data on leafroller food plants from reared specimens in major collections.

2.2. Complete on-line and hard-copy checklists for remaining subfamilies.

3.1. Provide expert identifications for customers and stakeholders, and maintain and enhance the National Insect Collection.

YEAR 5 (2009)

1.1 Complete manuscript, including photographs of adults, illustrations of genitalia, descriptions and diagnoses.

1.2 Complete cumulative revisions of 20-25 genera (100-120 species), including keys, descriptions, diagnoses, and illustrations of genitalia; complete introduction and bibliography.

1.3 Complete keys to genera and species; complete introduction and bibliography of manuscript.

1.4 Complete and review introduction and bibliography of text.

1.5 Complete phylogenetic analysis of genera of the world; finalize text of manuscript and submit for publication.

1.6 Complete phylogenetic analysis of genera.

1.7 Complete and submit manuscript for publication.

2.1 Complete hardcopy and on-line database of food plants; prepare introduction and bibliography.

2.2 Complete hardcopy and on-line checklists of remaining subfamilies (ca. 8,012 spp.); complete on-line searchable database with digital images of vector species.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
The research undertaken falls under National Program 304 - Crop Protection and Quarantine, Component 1 which mandates the investigation of potential and actual plant pests of importance to U.S. agriculture and species with high potential as biological control agents.

Gypsy moth group reviewed worldwide: Completed a comprehensive review of potentially invasive species of the gypsy moth genus Lymantria from subtropical and temperate regions of Asia, which included the descriptions of three new species. The genus Lymantria Hübner [1819] contains some of the most destructive forest pests in the world; each year approximately $11 million is spent on gypsy moth control. Potential invasive species of Lymantria from temperate and subtropical Asia are a threat to the forests of North America. If any of the 31 species and two subspecies of Lymantria treated in the review were accidentally introduced into North America, it could result in severe economic loss to native forests. Thirteen species of larvae are diagnosed and illustrated. The biologies, host plants, phenology, and pheromone chemistry is presented. This review will have an impact on the ability for identifiers to make better determinations of Lymantria species coming from temperate Asia.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
The research undertaken falls under National Program 304 - Crop Protection and Quarantine, which mandates the investigation of potential and actual plant pests of importance to U.S. agriculture and species with high potential as biological control agents.

Fern moths discovered for biological control in Florida: Solis conducted research on southeastern Asian musotimines that are being tested by ARS for biological control of the Old World climbing fern in the Everglades. Several new species were discovered and described for testing and introduction into the U.S. One musotimine species was field released into the Florida Everglades in December 2005. Another new species was discovered and will be described.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
Solis updated the key to larval Pyraloidea commonly intercepted at U.S. Ports that is of great interest to APHIS and quarantine agencies worldwide. Duponchelia fovealis, a species not known to occur in North America, was intercepted on vegetables from The Netherlands, and identifications of this species were provided to Agriculture Canada and the California Department of Agriculture. The identities of Aphomia and Paralipsa species were clarified for biologists working on the northeastern North American fauna.

Brown completed research on two species being evaluated for biological control of weedy Asteraceae in South Africa: a flower-feeder on pompom weed (Campuloclinium macrcephalum) and stem tip gall-inducer on trifid (Chromolaena odorata).


4d.Progress report.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
1275-22000-232-00D replaced 1275-22000-225-00D as of March 18, 2005.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Conducted a workshop to transfer scientific information on the identification of Pyraloidea at the CORPOICA (Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria) in Palmira, Colombia, August, 2006. Solis visited and worked with two Ph.D. students at Cornell University and Mississippi State University on the Pyraloidea collections; both are now curating their respective collections so that they may be accessed and used.

McKamey routinely provided accurate answers to students, researchers (nationally and internationally), and APHIS personnel regarding the current taxonomic status of certain leafhoppers based on his database. The identifications are enhanced by providing relevant distribution data from the database.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Presentation: Brown, J. W., “An overview of the Lepidoptera fauna of Plummers Island, Maryland,” National Park Service meeting, Spotlight on National Park Resources, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, March 2006.

Presentation: Brown, J. W., “The discovery of Megalota (Tortricidae: Olethreutinae) in the New World tropics completes its putative Gondwanan distribution,” annual meeting of Lepidopterists’ Society, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, June 2006.

Presentation: Mitter, C. et al. (including Brown), “Progress report on LepTree, the Lepidoptera Tree of Life Project,” annual meeting of Lepidopterists’ Society, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, June 2006.

Presentation: Solis, M. A., “Phylogenetic Studies and Modern Classification of the Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera),” XXXIII Congress of the Colombian Society of Entomology, July 2006.

Presentation: Solis, M. A., “Identity of North American species of Aphomia and Paralipsa (Pyraloidea, Pyralidae, Galleriinae),” annual meeting of Lepidopterists’ Society, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, June 2006.

Presentation: Solis, M. A. and Manuel A. Balcázar Lara, “Pyraloidea Diversity in the Tarahumara Region of Northwestern Mexico,” Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, December 2005.

Presentation: Takiya, D. M., R. Rakitov, C. Dietrich, G. Mejdalani, S. McKamey and R. Cavichioli, “Phylogeny of the sharpshooter tribe Proconiini and its implication to taxonomy and classification, North Central Branch meeting, Entomological Society of America, June 2006.

Presentation: Yen, Shen-Horn & M. Alma Solis, “Recent advances in phylogenetics and evolutionary ecology of the Acentropinae (Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea, Crambidae),” annual meeting of Lepidopterists’ Society, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, June 2006.

Article about work: Article about affiliated agencies at the National Museum of Natural History and the research Solis and SEL scientists conduct for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Torch, April 2005.

Article about work: Article about Pogue’s participation in the Potomac Basin Bioblitz. Washington Post, June 25, 2006.

Article about work: Article about Lepidoptera survey work by Pogue and Brown on Plummers Island. Washington Post, July 31, 2006.

Book Review: Brown, J. W. 2006. Book review: “Caterpillars of eastern North America. A guide to identification and natural history,” by David L. Wagner: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 108:480-481.


Review Publications
Adamski, D., Brown, J.W., White, W.H. 2006. Description of the immature stages of Pyroderces badia Hodges (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) with a new host record from Louisiana. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108:341-346.

Brown, J.W., Baixeras, J. 2006. Macrocydia divergens, a new genus of Grapholitini (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae: Olethreutinae) from Central America. Zootaxa. 1197:45-54.

Takiya, D.M., Mckamey, S.H., Cavichioli, R.R. 2006. Fixation of the type-species of Homalodisca Stål as H. vitripennis (Germar), the oldest name for the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Cicadellinae). Entomology Society America Annual Meeting. 99(4):648-655.

Henry, T.J., Ferreira, P.S. 2005. Froeschneropsidea, a replacement name for the preoccupied genus Froeschnerisca (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Deraeocorinae).. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 107:735.

Mckamey, S.H. 2005. More new generic names in the Cicadellidae (Hemiptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108(3):502-510.

Mckamey, S.H. 2005. Review of the neotropical leafhopper genus chlorogonalia (hemiptera; cicadellidae) with notes on the genus caldwelliola.. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108(3):611-618.

Mckamey, S.H. 2005. Two new species of the neotropical leafhopper genus caldwelliola young (hemiptera: cicadellidae) with a key to all species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108(3)534-542.

Nunzig, H.H., Solis, M.A. 2006. Redescription of Bethulia Championella Ragonot (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Phyctinae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108:(2)285-288.

Pogue, M.G. 2006. The Noctuinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Zootaxa. 1215:1-95.

Solis, M.A., Yen, S., Goolsby, J.H., Wright, T., Pemberton, R., Winotai, A., Rimbut, S. 2005. Siamusotima aranea, a new stem-boring musotimine (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) from Thailand feeding on Lygodium flexuosum (L.) SW. (Schizaeaceae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 98(6):887-895.

Solis, M.A., Davis, D.R., Nishida, K. 2005. Biology and systematics of Albusambia elaphoglossumae, a new genus and species of crambidae (Epidoptera: Pyraloidea: Crambidae) mining the fronds of Elaphoglossum conspersum (Pteridophyta: Lomariopsidaceae) in Costa Rica. Tropical Lepidoptera. 53(3-4):487-501.

Razowski, J., Brown, J.W. 2005. Review of Oregocerata Razowski (Lepidoptera: Tortircidae: Euliini), with descriptions of four new species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 107:903-913.

Takiya, D.M., Cavichioli, R.R., Mckamey, S.H. Sharpshooters of the genus Homalodisca Stål, 1869 (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) in Brazil: notes, new records, and key to species, and descriptions of the male of H. ignota Melichar, 1924 and a new Northeastern species. Zootaxa. 1249:23-26.

Wheeler, A.G.,Jr., Henry, T.J. 2005. Gampsocoris decorus (Uhler) and Metacanthus tenellus Stål (Hemiptera: Berytidae), Neotropical Stilt bugs as colonists of an African grass, Urochloa mutica (Poaceae), in Florida, with a review of berytid-grass associations. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 108:1-8.

White, W.H., Adamski, D., Brown, J.W., Reagan, T.E., Jimenez, J.A., Lopez, M.M., Way, M.O. 2005. First records of the sugarcane pest, Blastobasis graminea Adamski (Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae: Blastobasinae), from Mexico and Central America. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 104:812-813.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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