Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Influence of Prunus spp., peach cultivars and bark damage on oviposition choices by the lesser peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae)

Authors
item COTTRELL, TED
item Fuest, Jamie - UGA
item Horton, Dan - UGA

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Cottrell, T.E., Fuest, J., Horton, D.L. 2008. Influence of Prunus spp., peach cultivars and bark damage on oviposition choices by the lesser peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae). Environmental Entomology. 37:1508-1513.

Interpretive Summary: The lesser peachtree borer is native to eastern North Amercia and has become a pest of serious concern to peach production in the Southeastern U.S. since the loss of methyl parathion for peach production during 1998. Here we provide an examination of egg laying by the lesser peachtree borer to better understand orchard conditions that favor this native pest attacking the exotic peach. We found that wounded peach bark was attractive to females for oviposition. Females responded to bark that was injured by the following: mechanical damage, infested by lesser peachtree borer larvae, and by disease. In fact, there was no difference in female oviposition response to mechanical injury and the combination of mechanical injury plus and infestation of lesser peachtree borer larvae. Egg laying on wounded bark from three different high chill peach cultivars was similar and strongly suggests that the narrow genetic base of high chill peach cultivars grown in the southeastern U.S. have little inherent resistance to the lesser peachtree borer. In stark contrast, when provided different species of Prunus, such as peach and the native Chickasaw plum and black cherry, peach was highly preferred for egg laying by the native lesser peachtree borer.

Technical Abstract: An examination of oviposition choices by the lesser peachtree borer, Synanthedon pictipes (Grote & Robinson) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) revealed that wounded peach, Prunus persica (L.) bark was attractive to females for oviposition. Females responded to bark that was injured mechanically (e.g., hammer blows, knife cuts, pruning wounds), infested by lesser peachtree borer larvae and injured by disease. In fact, there was no difference in female oviposition response to knife cut wounds and knife cuts wounds infested with lesser peachtree borer larvae. Oviposition on wounded bark from three different high chill peach cultivars was similar and strongly suggests that the narrow genetic base of high chill peach cultivars grown in the southeastern U.S. have little inherent resistance to the lesser peachtree borer. In stark contrast, when provided different Prunus spp., i.e., exotic peach and the native species P. angustifolia and P. serotina, the exotic peach was highly preferred for oviposition by the native lesser peachtree borer.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page