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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH Title: Tree height influences flight of lesser peachtree borer and peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) males

Authors
item Cottrell, Ted
item Horton, D -
item Fuest, J -

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2010
Publication Date: April 15, 2010
Citation: Cottrell, T.E., Horton, D.L., Fuest, J. 2010. Tree height influences flight of lesser peachtree borer and peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) males. Journal of Insect Behavior. 23:329-339.

Interpretive Summary: The lesser peachtree borer (LPTB) and peachtree borer (PTB) are serious pests of peach when the immature stage feeds on the cambium of limbs and roots, respectively. The effectiveness of pheromone traps used to monitor the males of LPTB and PTB can be affected by trap height in sampled habitats. In peach orchards where the canopy height averages about 3.0 m, more LPTB males were captured at 1.8 m above ground than in traps above the orchard at 5.5 m. Capture in traps placed from 1.8 to 5.5 m above ground in woods, with an aggregate canopy height of 22 m, was similar. In orchards, capture of PTB males was similar to LPTB with more PTB males captured within the peach canopy at 1.8 m rather than above the canopy at 5.5 m. No difference was detected in numbers of PTB males captured in woods when traps ranged from 0 to 5.5 m above ground. In an orchard interplanted with peach and pecan, where pecan trees were 3× the height but only 1/9 the density of peach, capture of LPTB and PTB was similar to capture in peach orchards when only peach trees immediately surrounded traps. However, when a trap in this orchard was immediately surrounded by peach trees except being adjacent to a single, taller non-host pecan tree, capture was similar to mixed deciduous woods. Thus, habitat structure affects vertical flight activity of male LPTB and PTB mandating that trap height should be considered when monitoring these pests.

Technical Abstract: Capture of males of the lesser peachtree borer, Synanthedon pictipes (Grote & Robinson), and the peachtree borer, S. exitiosa (Say) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae), in pheromone traps positioned at 0, 1.8, 3.6, and 5.5 m above ground was affected by tree height in different habitats. In a peach orchard with a canopy height of about 3.0 m, more S. pictipes were captured at 1.8 m above ground than in traps at 5.5 m. Capture at 1.8 to 5.5 m in mixed deciduous woods, with an aggregate canopy height of 22 m, was not significantly different. In orchards, more S. exitiosa were captured within the peach canopy at 1.8 m rather than above the canopy at 5.5 m. No difference was detected in numbers captured from 0 to 5.5 m in mixed deciduous woods. In a peach-pecan interplanted orchard where pecan trees were 3× the height but only 1/9 the density of peach, capture of both species was similar to capture in peach orchards when trees immediately surrounding traps were peach. However, when a trap in this orchard was immediately surrounded by peach trees except being adjacent to a single, taller non-host pecan tree, capture was similar to mixed deciduous woods. These data suggest that habitat structure supersedes presence/absence of host plants affecting vertical flight activity of male S. pictipes and S. exitiosa.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014