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Journal of economic entomology

Impact of whole-canopy and systemic insecticidal treatments on Callirhytis cornigera (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) and associated parasitoids on pin oak.


PMID 14658527

Abstract

The gall wasp Callirhytis cornigera (Osten Sacken) is a cynipid with alternating generations that produce large, woody stem galls and tiny blister-like leaf galls on pin oak, Quercus palustris Muenchhausen, in the United States. We tested 3 approaches to control the leaf-galling generation, and determined their impact on associated parasitoids and effectiveness in reducing numbers of new stem galls. First, trees were sprayed with bifenthrin or chlorpyrifos in late March to kill females emerging from stem galls before they oviposited into buds. Second, concentrated solutions of abamectin, imidacloprid, or bidrin were injected from pressurized containers into tree sapwood to control larvae developing in young leaf galls. Finally, systemic insecticides (acephate, abamectin, dimethoate, or imidacloprid) were sprayed at early leaf expansion (2 May) or to young, expanded leaves (17 May) to target larvae in leaf galls. Parasitoids, mostly eulophids, accounted for approximately 70% mortality of leaf-galling C. cornigera larvae on untreated trees. Whole-canopy sprays during C. cornigera emergence from stem galls reduced overall numbers of galled leaves and leaf galls. Trunk injections of bidrin or abamectin resulted in significant mortality of gall inhabitants, including parasitoids. However, neither of the aforementioned approaches significantly reduced numbers of new stem galls. Sprays of abamectin, dimethoate, or imidacloprid applied on 2 May caused high mortality of all gall inhabitants. There was no net benefit, however, because parasitism caused a similar reduction in C. cornigera survival on unsprayed shoots. Sprays applied later in leaf expansion had little impact on gall inhabitants. Of the treatments tested, bifenthrin sprays at bud break provided the greatest reduction in new leaf galls, whereas bidrin injections provided the greatest reduction in gall wasps emerging from galled leaves. This study suggests that gall wasp outbreaks are unlikely to be controlled by a single treatment, regardless of application method.

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