2011 Annual Report
2. Develop “push – pull” strategies for whitefly management that integrate plant-based pest repellents and natural enemy attractants.
3. Develop and refine control strategies for invasive species infesting non-traditional agricultural settings, in particular the Argentine cactus moth and Chinese tallow.
Push-pull strategies for the management of whiteflies will be developed. Certain plants and extracts from them will be tested in the field and lab to determine if they can repel whiteflies from target crops. Bioassays of other plants will be used to identify those that are good reservoirs for predators of whiteflies. Combinations of repellent plants and banker plants for predators will be studied to optimize push-pull strategies for whitefly management.
The sterile insect technique for management of invasive lepidopteran pests will be improved by development of bioassays that measure field performance of sterile moths. Lab bioassays will then be developed as proxy measures for field performance bioassays to gauge sterile insect performance. Existing pheromone trapping for monitoring cactus moth populations will be improved through calibrating captures with population size. Life table studies will be conducted in the cactus moth’s invaded range to identify stages most amenable for biological control. Additional biological control will be assessed by testing non target risks of Trichogramma pretiosum, a candidate for inundative releases. Population dynamic studies of Chinese tallow will be conducted to identify what types of biological control agents may have the greatest impact on the weed.
We made progress in the development of plants and plant-based repellents for the management of the sweetpotato whitefly, a major insect pest of important vegetable and horticultural crops that is difficult to manage with insecticides. Choice test results showed that giant red mustard is repellent to whitefly adults and that mustard oil applied to other plants can reduce whitefly oviposition.
Significant progress was made to increase the success of the sterile insect technique (SIT) used against the invasive cactus moth, and to develop additional controls for this moth. Quality control tests were developed that measured differences in sterile moths before and after they were released into the field to control the cactus moth. After changes were made in the rearing procedures, the quality control tests revealed improvement in the quality of sterile insects.Higher quality sterile moths compete against wild catus moths for mates, and when sterile males mate with a wild female, her eggs fail to develop. Improvement to the ARS-developed cactus moth pheromone was studied in field tests on new pheromone blends. Initial tests indicated that a two component blend catches more cactus moths and fewer non-target moths than the currently used blend. Additional field trials are planned to determine the most effective ratio of the two blends. Two biological control agents of the cactus moth were studied; a wasp in Florida that parasitizes eggs and a wasp in Argentina that parasitizes caterpillars. These wasps have been used in other programs to control moth pests by mass rearing the wasps and releasing them. If the tiny egg-attacking wasps were used in a program to control the cactus moth, our studies indicated that honey should be fed to mass reared wasps, young (2-3 day old) mated wasps should be released, and releases timed to coincide with newly laid cactus moth eggs. Research continues in Argentina on the wasp that parasitizes cactus moth catepillars. The wasp will be studied in a Florida quarantine to evaluate its risk to North American catepillars.
Sobhy, I.S., Sarhan, A.A., Shoukry, A.A., El-Kady, G.A., Mandour, N.S., Reitz, S.R. 2010. Development, consumption rates and reproductive biology of Orius albidipennis reared on various prey. Biocontrol. 55:753-765.
Sims, K., Funderburk, J., Reitz, S.R., Boucias, D. 2010. Host regulation by Thripinema fuscum and effects on Frankliniella fusca population dynamics. Journal of Insect Science. 10(166):44.
Paini, D.R., Funderburk, J.E., Reitz, S.R. 2007. Competitive exclusion of a worldwide invasive pest by a native. Quantifying competition between two phytophagous insect on two host plant species. Ecology. 77(1):184-190.
Baez, I., Reitz, S.R., Funderburk, J.E., Olson, S.M. 2011. Variation Within and Between Frankliniella Thrips Species in Host Plant Utilization. Journal of Insect Science. 11:41.
Funderburk, J., Reitz, S.R. 2010. Natural and artificial populations of Frankliniella occidentalis, biotic resistance and pest status. Journal of Insect Science. 10(166):14-15.
Reitz, S.R. 2010. Predator-prey interactions between Orius insidiosus and flower thrips. Journal of Insect Science. 10(166):37-38.
Reitz, S.R., Gao, Y., Lei, Z. 2011. Thrips pests of China and the United States. Agricultural Sciences in China. 10:867-892.
Reitz, S.R., Maiorino, G., Ritchie, L., Olson, S., Sprenkel, R., Crescenzi, A., Momol, M. 2007. The effects of plant essential oils and particle films on tomato spotted wilt and thrips in tomatoes. Phytopathology. 97(7):S98.
Reitz, S.R., Maiorino, G., Ritchie, L., Olson, S., Sprenkel, R., Crescenzi, A., Momol, M. 2006. Plant essential oils and particle films for the management of tomato spotted wilt on tomatoes. Phytopathology. 96(6):S97.
Paraiso, O., Hight, S.D., Kairo, M., Bloem, S. 2011. Egg parasitoids attacking Cactoblastis Cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) in north Florida. Florida Entomologist. 94(1):81-90.
Legaspi, J.C., Mannion, C., Amalin, D., Legaspi, B. 2011. Life table analysis and development of Singhiella simplex (Hemiptera:Aleyrodidae) under different constant temperatures. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104(3):451-458.
Legaspi, J.C., Kanga, L.H., Legaspi, Jr, B.C. 2010. Evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus as entomopathogens of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Subtropical Plant Science. 62:27-33.
Legaspi, J.C., Legaspi, B.C. 2008. Biology, Distribution And Control Of The Cactus Moth, Cactoblastis Cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralide). In: Campinera, J.L., editor. Encyclopedia of Entomology. 2nd edition. Vol 1, A-C. London, UK:Springer. p. 696-703.
Legaspi, B.C., Legaspi, J.C. 2010. Field-level validation of a CLIMEX model for the Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) using estimated larval growth rates. Environmental Entomology. 39(2):368-377.
Goolsby, J., Legaspi, B., Legaspi, J.C. 2007. Quarantine evaluation of parasitoids imported into the U.S. for Bemisia tabaci biotype "B". In: Gould, J., Hoelmer, K.A., Goolsby, J.A., editors. Classical Biological Control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States - A Review of Interagency Research and Implementation. Vol. 4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. p. 121-128.