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Title: Diversity, abundance, and seasonality of adult and larval Symphyta (Hymenoptera) In the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests of Virginia and West Virginia

Author
item Braud, Rachel
item Smith, David R
item Strazanac, John
item Butler, Linda

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2002
Publication Date: 6/17/2003
Citation: Braud, R., Smith, D.R., Strazanac, J.S., Butler, L. 2003. Diversity, abundance, and seasonality of adult and larval Symphyta (Hymenoptera) In the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests of Virginia and West Virginia. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 105:756-768.

Interpretive Summary: Larvae of sawflies (plant-feeding wasps) are important leaf-eating insects in eastern broadleaf forests. No previously published studies have focused on their diversity and abundance in oak dominated forests in the Appalachians. Five years of sampling (1995-1999) in Virginia and West Virginia resulted in over 8,000 adults representing 155 species of sawflies. They were second only to caterpillars (Lepidoptera) as the most commonly encountered foliage-feeding insect group. The findings of this work 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: Adult Symphyta species richness and abundance were studied using data collected from 36 Malaise traps in the Monongahela National Forest, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and in the George Washington National Forest, Augusta County, Virginia. A total of 8,884 adults representing 155 species in 49 genera and 8 families were collected. Diversity estimators suggest that approximately 81% of the actual species present on the two forests were sampled over the five-year survey effort (1995-1999). Fifty-two percent of all adults (4,423) were Acordulecera dorsalis Say (Pergidae). The next most abundant species were Pristiphora banksi Marlatt (12.8%), Pachynematus corniger (Norton) (4%), Pracharactus rudis (Norton) (3%), and Taxonus pallipes (Say) (2%) (Tenthredinidae). Larval Symphyta richness and abundance were determined by foliage collections from Quercus spp., Carya spp., and Acer spp. Symphyta larvae from foliage numbered 11,091 specimens representing 8 genera. Sixty-three percent of all larvae (7,373) were Acordulecera spp. The next most abundant genus was Periclista spp. (2,328) which accounted for 20% of the total. Differences in species richness and abundance of both adults and larvae occurred between forests and between years.