|Smith, David R|
Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Larvae of sawflies (plant-feeding wasps) are important defoliators in the eastern broadleaf forests. No studies have focused on their diversity and species richness. From studies in the central Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia, 155 species of sawflies were identified, many of which are associated with forest trees such as oaks, hickories, and pines. They were second only to caterpillars (Lepidoptera) as the most commonly encountered foliage-feeding insect group. The results are of significance to scientists, forest service personnel, and others involved with studying defoliating insects and their potential impact in the forest ecosystem.
Technical Abstract: Malaise trap sampling in the George Washington National Forest, Augusta Co., Virginia, and the Monongahela National Forest in Pocahontas Co., West Virginia, in the central Appalachian Mountains over a five-year period at 36 sites resulted in the collection of 155 species in eight families of Symphyta. Tenthredinidae were the most species rich with a total of 121 species and Pergidae were the most abundant with a total of 4,529 specimens. A comparison with other long-term, Malaise trap-based sawfly surveys in diverse habitats indicates that there may be a relationship between the intensity of sampling, such as number of traps and number of years, and species richness.