STATE PLANT BOARD
ET-176 August 1941
United States Depart'nent of Agriculture
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
AN IMPROVED SPRING CAGE FASTENER
By E. W. Davis and C. H. Feltes,
Division of Truck Crop and Garden Insect Investigatios
With the adveent of specialized entomolc:cca1 research, it
has become necessary to cage insects on growing plants. In o --r
to facilitate the study of the insects so c. ., ..- plants arc
generally planted in flowe!pjts Coi.seC1uentrly it becomes reces-
sary to attach the cage firmly to the flowerpot. Cages of various
shapes anpi materials have been constructed. Each type ha been
,d-signed to meet the special rec;,' ren, nt of the inset : died
The characteristic that is common to them all is that t',ey need to
be fastened to the pot upon which they are used.
Several fastening devices have been developed for catching
cages of the open-bottom type. J. N. Tenhet (ET-14) described a
flat band on the bottom of the :-a.e that c:. be tightened by means
of a stove bolt. T. E. Bro;-,o,- (ET-22) described a wa. of 3-illiAng
holes in the upper part of the pot and n)s*.g nails to attach the
cage, R. L. W'allis (ET-48) descril.-:r a band on the bot 01.' of the
cage, using an overshoe buckle for the tightener. All these are
successful for cages with open botitoris but cannot be used with .a.es
that have closed bottoms,
During the progress of investigations of the sugar beet leaf-
hopper (Eutettix tonellis (&Baker)) it i.a- fc'ind necessai'.' to con-
struct special cages to ijild this small, elusive ji-.:ct. It was
fn:ind that many leafhoppers escaped or were lost if they hod access
to the soil of the pot. For this reason the beet lc--h't.,er ,-'es
were constructed with a rigid solid bottom with provision for the
insertion of the plant. This type of cage must r.st on tlie soil
within the pot or on the top of the pot. The disadvant.i: of this
type of cage is that it is very susceptible to displacement by a
light touch or wind.
After trying all fastening rcethods that have been public shed
and a number of others, a si..ple fosterninc device has bee-n <-c.
that will attach closed-bot"-on c..ges to flow.eLrpots of various sizes,
This fastener can, with slight modifications, be used to hold r-,-ves
of most any size, shape, or material.
The materials needed for the construction of this device in-
clude some 12- and 25-gauge (American standard) wire and two No. 87
cadmium-plated springs (3/8 inch by 3 1/8 inches). A vise, a pair
of large pliers, a hammer, and either a hacksaw or bolt cutters for
cutting the large-gauge wire, are the tools required for making the
assembly. The component pirts as pictured in figure A, numbers 1
to 8, are cut for an 8-inch pot, such as is used at this laboratory.
First cut two pieces of 12-gauge wire 181 inches long (fig. A-I)
;;iake marks on each wire 21 inches from one end and 3 inches from the
o'.her end. Now set a 20-penny nail in the vise and bend an eye in
each wire at the end marked at 2 inches, as in figure A-2. Then
bend these wircs at right angles at the 21-inch marks (fig. A-3) and
also at the 3-inoh marks, and shape them to the design of figure A-4
by bending them around a flowerpot with the hands.
To put these two pieces together, wrap the straight end of
each wire around the opposite wire back of the eye bend. as shown,
in the complete] circle of figure A-8. At this stage the eye Icops
will be projechi .g straight out. It is now necessary to bend them
upward at riit angles 1 inch distant from the circle in order to
get around the shoulder of the pot, as can be seen in figure B.
Cut two lengths of 25--gauge wire 7 inches long and make eyes in both
ends of both pieces (fig. A-7), attaching one end of each piece to
the eye of the circle. Fasten the springs in the other ends
(fig. A-6). These springs are hooked to a wire bent over the top
of the cage, as shown in figure A-5 for wooden cages, or to hooks
soldereJ to a metal cage, as shown in figure B. Now you have the
assembly as pictured in figure A, numbers 5 to 8.
Figure A.-Details of the construc-
tion of the spring cage fastener.
Figure B.-Spring cage fasteners in
position for holding cages on
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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