Seasonal emergence patterns of Sitodiplosis mosellana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in the Peace River region, Alberta, Canada.
Wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana Géhin (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is an invasive pest of wheat, Triticum spp. (Poaceae), in North America and is found in all wheat-growing regions of the world. Wheat midge biology, particularly post-diapause emergence of adults, varies with geographic region. The biology of wheat midge has not previously been examined in the northernmost area of its range in Canada - the Peace River region of Alberta. Wheat midge adult emergence was compared in situ to two phenological models of wheat midge emergence developed in other geographic regions. In-field adult emergence did not match the published phenological models. In the Peace River region, adults emerged later than are predicted by both models and precision for both models was low. With the Saskatchewan model, accumulated rainfall that was more than 110 mm in May and early June delayed emergence, whereas accumulated rainfall that was less than 43 mm during that period caused earlier than predicted emergence. Multiple peaks of wheat midge emergence, up to 20 days apart, were observed at some sites, supporting the Jacquemin model depicting "waves" of emergence. Including differences in soil temperature accumulation related to precipitation and optimising the model temperature thresholds would improve accuracy of the current Canadian phenological model in the Peace River region.