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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376240

Research Project: Integrated Production and Automation Systems for Temperate Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: A review of the biology, ecology, and management of plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

item LAMPASONA, TIMOTHY - Rutgers University
item RODRIGUEZ-SAONA, CESAR - Rutgers University
item Leskey, Tracy
item NIELSEN, ANNE - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/22/2020
Publication Date: 11/10/2020
Citation: Lampasona, T.P., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Leskey, T.C., Nielsen, A.L. 2020. A review of the biology, ecology, and management of plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 11(1):22;1-12.

Interpretive Summary: The plum curculio is a persistent native pest of apples, peaches, plums, cherry, and highbush blueberry in the eastern United States and Canada. Damage can reach up to 85% if insecticide applications aren’t applied. Development of sustainable tactics for their management has been the focus of research programs for decades, but there are still challenges. Here, we examine how differences in biology, ecology, and behavior in various fruit crops may affect their biology and behavior; thereby, also affecting how we approach their management.

Technical Abstract: The plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar Herbst (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an insect native to the Americas that is a serious pest of stone and pome fruits in the United States and southern Canada. Failure to effectively manage this insect may result in up to 85% damaged fruit at harvest, as well as early season fruit abortion. Conotrachelus nenuphar is oligophagous, feeding and ovipositing on many Rosaceous plants, including apple, peach, plum, cherry, quince, and pear. Additionally, C. nenuphar in limited geographic ranges utilizes alternate hosts such as highbush blueberry (Ericaceae) and Muscadine grape (Vitaceae). Despite its long history as a pest, integrated pest management (IPM) lags behind similarly damaging native fruit pests. Although significant progress has been made on the identification of attractive lures for monitoring C. nenuphar adults, development of behaviorally-based management strategies, and biological control with entomopathogenic nematodes, growers continue to rely heavily on top-down chemical inputs to manage this pest. Most of the research to date comes from studies done in apples where alternative management practices for C. nenuphar have to some extent been adopted; however, less IPM-based information is available for other susceptible crops. In this review, we summarize the history, biology, ecology, behavior, and control of C. nenuphar and future directions for IPM research.