Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Field distribution of Dasineura oxycoccana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) adults, larvae, pupae, and parasitoids and evaluation of monitoring trap designs in Florida.

Abstract

Blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson), is a pest of cultivated blueberries throughout the world. Larvae feed and develop in developing leaf buds, and also in flower buds of rabbiteye blueberries, which causes buds to fall off the plant. These injuries can cause up to 80% yield loss in heavy infestations. As the larvae are protected from insecticides, adults must be targeted with foliar applications. Consequently, the detection of adults through an effective monitoring program is critical to time insecticide sprays against the blueberry gall midge. Understanding the distribution of the midge and its parasitoids is also important information for developing a more effective pest management program. A comparison of three monitoring trap types demonstrated that bucket emergence traps and clear panel traps captured similar numbers of midges, although the bucket trap is more sensitive at low population levels. Using bucket emergence traps, we found that nearly 80% of the midges collected pupated within 48 cm of the blueberry bush, suggesting that a targeted soil treatment may be a viable integrated pest management tactic that could be included in a midge management program. Traps and bud samples demonstrated that adult and larval midges and parasitoids were randomly distributed throughout the field in both years, with the exception of larval aggregation in early 2012. As parasitoid distribution is parallel to host occurrence within blueberry plantings, this increases the potential for biological control activities against the blueberry gall midge in fields that do not receive broad-spectrum insecticide applications.