Abstract: We recorded five species of elfins (Callophrys) during annual spring surveys targeting frosted elfin C. irus (state-listed as threatened) in 19 pine-oak barrens in central Wisconsin USA during 1994–2013. At the northwest end of its range here, C. irus co-varied with spring temperature, but declined significantly over time (eight sites verified extant of originally 17). Two other specialists increased significantly. The northern specialist, hoary elfin C. polios (nine sites), correlated positively with the previous year’s growing season precipitation. The southern specialist, Henry’s elfin C. henrici (11 sites), co-varied with winter precipitation and spring temperature and dryness. The two resident generalists had stable trends. For all species, the first observed date per year became earlier over time and varied more than the last observed date. Thus, flight period span increased with earlier first observed dates. Elfin abundance increased significantly with earlier first observed dates in the current and/or prior year. Three species (C. irus, C. henrici, a generalist) had more positive population trends in reserves than non-reserves. This suggests that C. irus declines correspond to habitat conditions. Thus, monitoring programs and habitat management specifically for C. irus appear necessary to obtain a long-term stable trend for this species in Wisconsin.
Abstract: The European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (L.) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a highly destructive pest. Methods to control it are limited and alternatives are needed. Observations of cherry fruit flies suggest that females exert much effort to penetrate cherries at color change stage (from green to yellow) for oviposition. Therefore, the question arose as to whether a physical barrier on the fruit surface could reduce oviposition. The effects of different commercial horticultural oil products on R. cerasi oviposition were evaluated in a series of laboratory, semi-field and field experiments. In the laboratory experiments, the rate of successful oviposition on fruits treated with 0.25% v/v of the rapeseed oil product Telmion was significantly reduced by 90% compared to the untreated control. In semi-field experiments, deposits of 1% of rapeseed, mineral and paraffinic oil significantly reduced oviposition for up to 3 days. Semi-field experiments indicated that the oil products lose efficacy within 3 to 6 days after application due to degradation. Although treatments with the rapeseed oil product Telmion reduced infestation rates in an on-farm field experiment, the infested fruit clearly exceeded the level of market tolerance of 2%. Further research is needed to assess whether combinations of oil products, higher application rates and different formulations might improve field efficacy.
Abstract: Winter moth, Operophtera brumata L. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), has been defoliating hardwood trees in eastern Massachusetts since the 1990s. Native to Europe, winter moth has also been detected in Rhode Island, Connecticut, eastern Long Island (NY), New Hampshire, and Maine. Individual tree impacts of winter moth defoliation in New England are currently unknown. Using dendroecological techniques, this study related annual radial growth of individual host (Quercus spp. and Acer spp.) trees to detailed defoliation estimates. Winter moth defoliation was associated with up to a 47% reduction in annual radial growth of Quercus trees. Latewood production of Quercus was reduced by up to 67% in the same year as defoliation, while earlywood production was reduced by up to 24% in the year following defoliation. Winter moth defoliation was not a strong predictor of radial growth in Acer species. This study is the first to document impacts of novel invasions of winter moth into New England.
Abstract: We investigated within-tree population density of a new invasive species in southern California, the goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), with respect to host species and the community of other borers present. We measured emergence hole densities of A. auroguttatus and other borers on the lower stem (bole) of naïve oaks at 18 sites in southern California and on co-evolved oaks at seven sites in southeastern Arizona. We sampled recently dead oaks in an effort to quantify the community of primary and secondary borers associated with mortality—species that were likely to interact with A. auroguttatus. Red oaks (Section Lobatae) produced greater densities of A. auroguttatus than white oaks (Section Quercus). On red oaks, A. auroguttatus significantly outnumbered native borers in California (mean ± SE of 9.6 ± 0.7 versus 4.5 ± 0.6 emergence holes per 0.09 m2 of bark surface), yet this was not the case in Arizona (0.9 ± 0.2 versus 1.1 ± 0.2 emergence holes per 0.09 m2). In California, a species that is taxonomically intermediate between red and white oaks, Quercus chrysolepis (Section Protobalanus), exhibited similar A. auroguttatus emergence densities compared with a co-occurring red oak, Q. kelloggii. As an invasive species in California, A. auroguttatus may affect the community of native borers (mainly Buprestidae and Cerambycidae) that feed on the lower boles of oaks, although it remains unclear whether its impact will be positive or negative.
Abstract: Vespid wasps are ecologically beneficial, but they can be a nuisance and dangerous to people due to their tendency to sting. Here, the aim was to screen samples of volatiles (i.e., essential oils and pure chemicals) for their repellency against wasps. The number of wasps (mainly Vespula vulgaris) present in a glass box with attractant and 5 µL sample was compared to the number of wasps in a similar box with attractant only. Both boxes were connected to a large glass container harboring 18–35 wasps. Among 66 tested samples, some essential oils from Lamiaceae and Asteraceae, as well as some pure natural compounds such as the monoterpenes (−)-terpinen-4-ol and isopulegol showed a significant repellency against vespids. Our results corroborate the potential of (mixtures of) volatiles in repelling these insects.