Location: Fruit and Nut Research
Title: Lesser peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) oviposition on Prunus germplasm Authors
Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 13, 2011
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Citation: Cottrell, T.E., Beckman, T.G., Horton, D.L. 2012. Lesser peachtree borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) oviposition on Prunus germplasm. Environmental Entomology. 40(6):1465-1470. Interpretive Summary: The root-attacking peachtree borer and the closely related tree-attacking lesser peachtree borer are serious pests of peach production in the southeastern U.S. Unlike the peachtree borer, the lesser peachtree borer is amenable to laboratory rearing. Having abundant adults of the lesser peachtree borer allowed us to use it as a surrogate for the peachtree borer in egg laying experiments examining preference of cultivators, selections and wild Prunus germplasm. In the search for borer-resistant rootstocks, we tested limbs of a common peach variety, peach rootstock varieties, plum-peach hybrid rootstocks, wild black cherry and wild Chickasaw plum. Our results show that the plum-peach hybrid rootstock Sharpe possesses traits that lend it to being less suitable for egg laying when other choices were available. A similar occurrence was found in an orchard between another plum hybrid (SL0040) and a peach rootstock (Nemaguard) in that a field population of peachtree borer did more damage to Nemaguard than to SL0040. However, when Sharpe was the only choice, it was readily accepted as an oviposition substrate. The utility of Sharpe rootstock against peachtree borer should be investigated under orchard conditions.
Technical Abstract: Synanthedon pictipes (Grote and Robinson) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) was used as an oviposition surrogate for the congeneric S. exitiosa (Say) to examine possible preference for Prunus germplasm. We assayed limbs of a peach cultivar (Prunus persica), peach rootstocks, plum-peach hybrid rootstocks, the native black cherry (P. serotina) and Chickasaw plum (P. angustifolia). Our results show that the plum-peach hybrid rootstock Sharpe possesses traits that lend it to being nonpreferred in the presence of other Prunus choices for oviposition by S. pictipes. Likewise, an in-orchard damage evaluation of another plum hybrid (i.e., SL0040) by a field population of S. exitiosa showed a similar response by having less S. exitiosa larval damage than trees of the peach rootstock Nemaguard. However, when Sharpe was the only Prunus choice, S. pictipes readily accepted it as an oviposition substrate. The utility of this rootstock against S. exitiosa should be investigated under orchard conditions.