Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227011

Title: Dogwood Borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) Abundance and Seasonal Flight Activity in Apple Orchards, Urban Landscapes and Woodlands in Five Eastern States

item Leskey, Tracy
item Zhang, Aijun

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2009
Publication Date: 6/15/2009
Citation: Bergh, J.C., Leskey, T.C., Walgenbach, J.F., Klingeman, W.E., Kain, D.P., Zhang, A. 2009. Dogwood borer (lepidoptera: sesiidae) abundance and seasonal flight activity in apple orchards, urban landscapes and woodlands in five eastern states. Environmental Entomology. 38:530-538. Available

Interpretive Summary: The dogwood borer (DWB) is an important insect pest which causes severe problems on many species of ornamental, fruit, and nut trees in the eastern United States and Canada and is becoming an increasingly important pest of apple. Early efforts to measure the abundance of DWB using commercially available lures were inconsistent and results were not promising. Using our recently identified DWB attractant we monitored DWB population in three habitats in five eastern states. This study will provide growers information on accurate population levels in order to better time conventional insecticide interventions. This information will also be useful to researchers and extension specialist developing management strategies for DWB.

Technical Abstract: The relative abundance and seasonal flight activity of dogwood borer, Synanthedon scitula Harris (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) was measured using weekly records from traps baited with its sex pheromone and deployed in apple orchards, urban landscapes and native woodland sites in New York, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee in 2005 and 2006. The total number of moths captured per site in apple orchards was 3146.3 ± 643.9 SE and 3095.0 ± 583.9 SE in 2005 and 2006, respectively, significantly exceeding captures at urban sites by 15X and 13X and at woodland sites by 211X and 210X in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Mean total captures at urban sites were not significantly greater than at woodland sites in either year but exceeded those in woodland habitats by 13X and 16X in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The mean duration (wk) of the flight period did not differ significantly between apple orchards (22.6 ± 0.63 SE) and urban sites (20.3 ± 1.16 SE). The onset of flight was somewhat later in New York (ca. early June) than further south (ca. early to mid-May), but moth captures continued into October in all states. Captures in apple orchards and at urban sites with higher populations were essentially continuous throughout the flight period, with substantial weekly fluctuations, and tended to show a bi-modal pattern with peaks from late May through mid-July and from late August through mid-September. Captures at woodland sites tended to occur predominantly from mid-May through about mid-June and were very sporadic thereafter.