Papers on insects affecting vegetables ..

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Title:
Papers on insects affecting vegetables ..
Series Title:
U.S. Dept. of agriculture. Bureau of Entomology Bulletin ;
Physical Description:
v, 84 p. : illus., pl. ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Publisher:
Govt. print. off.
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Vegetables -- Diseases and pests   ( lcsh )
Insecticides   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Bibliographies interspersed.
General Note:
Papers pub. separately, 1911-1913 and numbered consecutively.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029622798
oclc - 32687280
lccn - agr16001045
System ID:
AA00018914:00003

Full Text
[7.


6


U. S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY-BULLETIN No. 109, Part IV.
L 0. HOWARD. Entomologist and Chief of Bureau.

PAPERS ON INSECTS AFFECTING VEGETABLES.



A LITTLE-KNOWN CUTWORM.



BY

F. IH. CHITTENDEN, Sc. D.,
In Charge of Truck Crop and Stored Product Insect Investigation.


ISSUED APRIL 5, 1912.


WASHINGTON:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
1912.


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BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY.

L. 0. HOWARD, Entomologist and Chief of Bureau.
C. L. MARLATF, Entomologist and, Acting Chief in Absence of Chlef.
R. S. CLIFTON, Executive Assistant.
W. F. TASTET, Chief Clerk.

F. H. CHITTENDEN, in charge of truck crop and stored product insect investigations.
A. D. HOPKINS, in charge of forest insect investigations.
W. D. HUNTER, in charge of southern field crop insect investigations.
F. Al. WEBSTER, in charge of cereal and forage insect investigations.
A. L. QUAINTANCE, in charge of deciduous fruit insect investigations.
E. F. PHILLIPS, in charge of bee culture.
D. -. ROGERS, in charge of preventing spread of moths, field work.
ROLLA P. CURRIE, in charge of editorial work.
MABEL COLCORD, in charge of library.

TRUCK CROP AND STORED PRODUCT INSECT INVESTIGAflONS.

F. H. CHITTENDEN, in charge.

H. M. RUSSELL, C. H. POPENOE, WILLIAM B. PARKER, H. 0. MARSH, M. M. HIGH,
FRED A. JOHNSTON, JOHN E. GRAF, entomological assistants.
I. J. CONDIT, collaborator in California.
P. T. COLE, collaborator in Tidewater Virginia.
W. N. ORD, collaborator in Oregon.
THOMAS H. JONES, collaborator in Porto Rico.
MARION T. VAN HORN, PAULINE M. JOHNSON, preparatory.








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CONTENTS.

Page.
Injurious occui rence...................................................... 47
Results from applications of arsenate of lead ----------.-----........---------------.......... 49
Description .....---------....--..........-----------------------....----------............--....---------.... 50
The moth------------------------------------------------------............................................................ 50
The larva................-------------------------------....---....------.............---------..... 50
Distribution......---------------.....--...---.......---.---..-------.----------.....-----------.. 50
Natural enemies--------..............-----------------------------------------........................................... 51





ILLUSTRATIONS.

Page.
FIG. 8. Porosagrotis vetusta: Moth, larva.................................... 50
21451-1III
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U. S. D. A., B. E. Bul. 109, Part IV.


PAPERS ON INSECTS AFFECTING VEGETABLES.


A LITTLE-KNOWN CUTWORM.
(Porosagrotis vetusta Walk.)
q
By F. H. CHITTENDEN, Sc. D.,
In. Charge of Truck Crop and Stored Product Insect Incestigations.
INJURIOUS OCCURRENCE.
During the past decade authentic evidence, based on specimens
which have been reared to the adult, has been received of the in-
juriousness of the cutworm Porosagrotis vetusta Walk., and com-
plaints have reached the bureau of other cases of injury doubtless
wrought by the same insect.
r. April 22, 1901, Mr. R. W. Caviness wrote from Southern Pines.
N. C., sending numerous specimens of this cutworm, many nearly
mature, with information concerning its ravages. His place at that
time was described as literally alive with them, and there was an
outbreak of the same species the previous year (1900), when it was
impossible to get a stand of watermelons until the cutworms had
matured. They seemed to eat "every green thing." Many cutworms
were found on and about dewberry, sometimes a dozen or more to
a vine. They crawled utip the vines and ate the buds and leaves, and
treated young peach and other trees in the same manner. It was
impossible to get a stand of beans, cabbage, or any other garden
" stuff." They were described as most abundant and doing their
worst damage on cowpeas. In 1900 they cut fall-sown turnips until
the weather became too cold for the larvae to work.
May 18 Mr. Caviness made another sending of this cutworm taken
from melon vines, 100 having been caught in an hour's time. They
infested small vines that were just coming up, entirely destroyed one
field of corn, and it was found necessary to replant both melons and
corn. The land had previously been planted to cowpeas, but there
was no apparent reason why this crop had any influence on the


T. C. & S. P. I. I., April 5. 1912.





PAPERS ON INSECTS AFFECTING VEGETABLES.


development of the cutworm except for some evidence that it might
be a preferred food plant.
The moths issued in our rearing jars during the first and second
weeks of September, and conditions were such at that time that this
is probably about the same period of issuance as that under natural
conditions.
In May, 1902, this cutworm was again very abundant in the same
locality, particularly around watermelon hills. Our correspondent
wrote further of this species and of a related form (probably the
granulated cutworm, Feltia annexa Treit.) with which it was asso-
ciated, that it had been a terrible pest in his vicinity during the two
years previous, and that in 1901 the insects were notably more
numerous than before. He stated that it would have been impossible
to have grown a crop like cotton or tobacco on his place that year.
Some of the larvae were remarkably late in transforming to pupae,
this being painfully evident in his melon field.
No positive information concerning damage by this species was
reported for a few years thereafter, but there can be no doubt what-
ever that it was injurious, more or less, during many if not all of
the remaining years.
In 1908 this species was observed by Mr. C. H. Popenoe and the
writer injuring kale, spinach, and lettuce in June at Norfolk, Va.,
where it was also associated in every instance of observed injury
with the granulated cutworm (Feltia annexa).
September 3, 1909, near Poplar Branch, N. C., these cutworms
were found by Mr. W. L. McAtee, of the Biological Survey of this
department, to be exceedingly numerous in a little truck garden
kept by Capt. J. T. Westcott. Single rakes of the fingers over 6
inches of the sandy soil disclosed from 6 to 12 cutworms. He
gathered a quart of these for fish bait in a few minutes. Canta-
loupe and watermelon vines were entirely defoliated and corn and
tomatoes were slightly attacked.
March 22, 1910, Mr. F. A. Johnston examined a field of about 3
acres of cultivated dandelions on the farm of Mr. Bruce Carney, at
Churchland, Va., and found it badly infested with cutworms of this
species. Hidden in the dead leaves around the base of some plants
there were as many as 5 or 6 young larvae. Some were quite small,
and no appreciable damage .had been done to the crop up to that date
by this pest. The winter had been severe on the dandelions, most
of them being killed back to the ground, but since the warmer
weather set in the plants had made quite rapid growth and were in
very fair condition. The crop was being cut for market and it
seemed quite probable that a thorough spraying of the leaves that
remained after the crop was harvested with either arsenate of lead
or Paris green would control the pest.


48





A LITTLE-KNOWN CUTWORM.


Some of the larvae obtained from this source were kept for rear-
ing in this bureau. The first adult issued May 20, and others trans-
formed to moths September 15 and 20.
During the first days of September, 1910, in an extremely heated
spell, this species attracted attention on the farm of Mr. B. C. Haines,
near Shelton, Va. Mr. Haines was advised -to use arsenate of lead
at the rate of 4 pounds in 50 gallons of water, and when the writer
visited the infested locality a few days later he found that this
remedy was producing excellent results. It should be mentioned
that on Mr. Haines's farms truck plants are grown in alternate
years, so as to produce four alternate crops. In this case parsley,
growing between rows of lettuce, was badly affected. As soon as the
lettuce was cut for market parsley began to appear and was cut off
by the worms even with the ground, so that only a few plants could be
seen here and there. The farm is being conducted by irrigation, both
overhead and by means of hose, and it is probable that the prompt
success in the use of arsenate of lead was doubtless due to the fact
that the insects were watered, and thus cooled, at night and heated
again by the extremely hot weather occurring during the day. It
was found impossible to trace the occurrence of this species earlier
in the season, and it was finally agreed between Mr. Haines and the
writer that in all probability the cutworms had been introduced with
stable manure grown up freely with grass and weeds which had been
used when the lettuce and parsley were first planted. They could
not have come from any outside source or from any earlier crop.
The success of Mr. Haines in his treatment of this pest is shown in
the accompanying abstract from his letter.

RESULTS FROM APPLICATIONS OF ARSENATE OF LEAD.

NORFOLK, VA., November 18, 1910.
I received your letter of the 16th instant, in regard to the cutworms on my
parsley and the ravages of the army worm in this section this fall. As you
remember, I had a hard fight with the cutworms on my parsley field, but I
feel fully compensated for my work and expense in fighting them. I had
several places in each bed where I had to reset plants where the cutworms
cut them off, but aside from those few spots I have a perfect stand and am
now marketing my crop, and I wish you could see that crop. The best out-
look I have ever had.
I kept constantly spraying my parsley with arsenate of lead (4 pounds to
50 gallons of water), and in all I think I gave it five applications. * *
B. C. HAINES.
It should be added to the above that a careful survey of the in-
fested field by the author showed plainly that an arsenical was the
only remedy that could be conveniently used after the outbreak was
at its height. It should be added also that the arsenate of lead was
not applied five successive times on the same plants.


49





PAPERS ON INSECTS AFFECTING VEGETABLE.o


DESCRIPTION.
The moth.-The moth of this species is quite unlike any common
form which inhabits the North Atlantic region, being much paler in
color. The forewings are gray, with a pinkish tinge in fresh speci-
mens. There is a submedian dark spot and a row of spots in the
form of a curve in the outer third of the wing. The markings are
well illustrated in figure 8 (above). It will be noted that the hind-
wings, which are silvery whitish and are more or less tinged on the
outer edges with gray, are considerably shorter. The thorax is of
about the same color as the fore wings and nearly uniform thrbugh-
out. The anterior portion of the abdomen is white and the posterior
portion, sometimes a little more than half, is gray. The lower sur-
face is pale, with the fore wings more or less suffused anteriorly
with fuscous. The posterior legs are distinctly tessellated. The
abdomen is rather more robust than in many related forms, being
narrower in the male.
The wing expanse is
1 inches and the
length of the body is
( W_ ". ....about five-eighths of
> an inch.
tThe eggs and ear-
lier stages of the
larva have not been
I *studied to the writer's
knowledge.
FIG. 8.-Porosagrotis vetusta: Moth and larva. T he a r v .-The
larva is subject to
considerable variation, which may be dependent on the soil. Speci-
mens received from North Carolina, in a very sandy soil, are pale,
with a decidedly pinkish tinge. The arrangement of the tubercles
is shown in figure 8, as is also the form of the thoracic plate. The
larva, when alive and when fully matured, measures about 1i inches,
but the inflated specimens run as high as 2 inches in length.
No specimens of the pupa have been preserved for description.

DISTRIBUTION.
All of the specimens of this species in the United States National
Museum are from New York State, and are labeled as follows:
Albany, Long Island, Carver, Rochester, and Franklin County,
N. Y.
There are also specimens of what appear to be races of this species,
one of them being labeled Porosagrotis satiens, from Coleville,
Wash., Glenwood Springs, Colo., and from Arizona, and a second


*1J


50


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A LITTLE-KNOWN CUTWORM. 51

species labeled P. catemnula Grote, from Los Angeles, Cal., Glenwood
Springs, Colo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Kaslo, British Columbia.
We have reared Pocosagrotis vetusta., which displays only slight
variation as compared with many other forms of cutworm moths,
from Shelton, Churchland, and Norfolk, Va., Rocky Ford, Colo., and
Southern Pines, N. C. Another locality is Poplar Branch, N. C.
In 1895 Slingerland 1 mentioned this species in connection with
other climbing cutworms under the name of the "spotted-legged cut-
worm," stating that it occurred in Erie, Lewis, and MLonroe Counties,
N. Y. Less than 2 per cent, however, of the climbing cutworms
received from western New York in 1893 and in 1894 belonged to
this species. Beyond the fact that it was found on peach buds, noth-
ing was then known of its habits. The larvae and moth were figured.

NATURAL ENEMIES.

This species no doubt has many natural enemies. The following,
however, are the only ones at present known, both being parasitic:
Apanteles n. sp., near agrotidis, issued from larve of this cut-
worm received from North Carolina, May 18, 1901. Determined by
Ashmead.
Linncernya picta Meig., a tachina fly, issued from the second lot,
from North Carolina. It was identified by the late D. W. Coquillett.
The same species of tachina fly was reared from this cutworm from
material received from Norfolk, Va., the flies issuing October 8, 1910.
'Bul. 104, Cornell University Experiment Station, pp. 570-571.








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