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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of Sugar Beet (Beta Vulgaris) Foliage by the Introduced Leaf-Mining Fly Amauromyza Flavifrons (Diptera: Agromyzidae)

item Scheffer, Sonja

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Leaf-miningfliescausemajoreconomicdamagetoawidevarietyof agriculturalandornamentalcropssuchaspeas,lettuce,melons, chrysanthemums,andhollies.Theleaf-miningflyAmauromyzaflavifrons (Diptera: Agromyzidae) has been recently introduced to the United States fromEurope.Itisreportedtofeedonsucheconomichostsascarnations, beets(tableandsugar),andspinach.Thepotentialimportanceofthis pest as it spreads in the U.S. is unknown. This research investigated the egg-laying preferences and survival of this species on sugar beet and bouncing bet in order to determine whether U.S. sugar beets are likely to be attacked by this fly. This research is of interest to researchers and pest-management specialists concerned with the insect pests of commercial sugar beets.

Technical Abstract: Laboratory and field experiments investigated the use of a nontraditional host, Beta vulgaris (sugar beet), by the leaf-miner Amauromyza flavifrons (Diptera: Agromyzidae). In laboratory trials using leaf-miners from the northeastern U.S. where sugar beets are not grown commercially, female flies readily oviposited on B. vulgaris even when a commonly used host, Saponaria officinalis, was present. However, larval mortality was significantly higher on B. vulgaris than on S. officinalis and occured at an earlier instar. Larval mortality on S. officinalis was significantly correlated with the number of miners in each leaf, suggesting an effect of larval competition, while on B. vulgaris larval mortality was independent of the number of miners in a leaf. Results from an experimental garden array in the northeastern U.S. showed that wild, unconfined A. flavifrons females will oviposit on B. vulgaris and confirmed substantial early larval lmortality on this plant. Implications of female oviposition and larval mortality on B. vulgaris are discussed in terms of the probable spread of this fly to western sugar beet growing regions.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015