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ARS Home » Plains Area » Woodward, Oklahoma » Rangeland and Pasture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378530

Research Project: Sustaining Southern Plains Landscapes through Improved Plant Genetics and Sound Forage-Livestock Production Systems

Location: Rangeland and Pasture Research

Title: Preference of Conioscinella nuda (Diptera: Chloropidae) among four native grass species

Author
item Springer, Timothy

Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2021
Publication Date: 5/24/2021
Citation: Springer, T.L. 2021. Preference of Conioscinella nuda (Diptera: Chloropidae) among four native grass species. Journal of Kansas Entomological Society. 93(3):262-264. https://doi.org/10.2317/0022-8567-93.3.262.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2317/0022-8567-93.3.262

Interpretive Summary: The grass fly, Conioscinella nuda (Adams), feeds on developing seeds of native grasses reducing their seed yield potential. The grass fly was collected in the field from plants of big bluestem, indiangrass, little bluestem, and sand bluestem. The mean number of insects collected varied from 9.7 to 27.0 adults per 15 plants, and the order of preference of this fly among native grasses was big bluestem, little bluestem, sand bluestem, and indiangrass. The observed differences among the species may be related to seed hairs. The seeds of big bluestem and little bluestem are mostly smooth compared to those of sand bluestem and indiangrass which are covered with hairs. Breeding plants with seed hairs may reduce the damage produced by this insect.

Technical Abstract: Adult flies of Conioscinella nuda (Adams) were collected in field plots of four native grass species, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash], sand bluestem (Andropogon hallii Hack), and indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash] to determine the insect’s preference among species. The mean number of insects varied from 9.7 to 27.0 adults per 15 plants, and the order of preference of C. nuda was big bluestem, little bluestem, sand bluestem, and indiangrass. Differences did occur among plant species for C. nuda preference (P < 0.05) where, big and little bluestem were different from sand bluestem and indiangrass (P < 0.05). The observed differences among the species may be related to spikelet hairs. The spikelets of big bluestem and little bluestem are mostly glabrous compared to those of sand bluestem and indiangrass which are covered with conspicuous hairs. Host plant resistance may offer the best approach for controlling C. nuda.