Volume 42, No. 1 March, 1959
Hoffmann, C. H.-Entomology Research Division Programs
Relating to Florida Insect Problems -------------- 1
Harris, Emmett D., Jr., and Victor E. Green, Jr.-Compari-
son of Field Corn Varieties for Resistance to Corn Ear-
worm and Stored Grain Insect Injury in the Everglades 11
De Leon, Donald-A New Genus of Mites Occurring in
Florida and Mexico (Acarina: Caligonellidae) --- 17
Muma, Martin H.-Chrysopidae Associated with Citrus
in Florida .--.-..........--------.....---.....--..-- 21
Tappan, William B.-Mite Control in Redworm Beds -------_ 31
Genung, William G.-Biological and Ecological Observations
on Mydas maculiventris Westwood (Diptera: Mydaidae)
as a Predator of White Grubs -----.....-..-......---------.. ----..... 35
Genung, William G.-Notes on the Syntomid Moth Lymire
edwardsi (Grote) and Its Control as a Pest of Ficus in
South Florida ... -....-.. .....- ......... .... ....... 39
Published by The Florida Entomological Society
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
OFFICERS FOR 1958-1959
President--..---...--.........................-.........-..............W illiam P. Hunter
Vice-President--..-............--.....-----...........Andrew J. Rogers
Secretary ..----.........--.....---- .....------Lawrence A. Hetrick
Treasurer....-- .----.-..----- ---- Robert E. Waites
Other Members of Executive Committee Milledge Murphey, Jr.
Irwin H. Gilbert
LEWIS BERNER ----........----........-..........Editor
NORMAN C. HAYSLIP .......-----... Associate Editor
ROBERT E. WAITES--........ ----Business Manager
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FLA. ENT. 41(4): 193-194. 1958.
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ENTOMOLOGY RESEARCH DIVISION PROGRAMS
RELATING TO FLORIDA INSECT PROBLEMS
C. H. HOFFMANN 2
It is a pleasure to be here today to discuss some of our Entomology
Research Division programs that are related to insect problems of interest
to members of the Florida Entomological Society.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Sunshine State
produces a greater variety of crops than any other State. About 2,500,000
acres in farms and groves produce peanuts, pecans, cotton, tobacco, sugar-
cane, tung oil, grains, citrus, tropical fruits, and vegetables valued at
$675,000,000 a year. Florida leads the world in citrus production. It is
noted for fine vegetables. It ranks thirteenth among the beef-producing
states of the Nation. Florida is also recognized as an outstanding resort
state. And, although not publicized as much as the aforementioned achieve-
ments, it is noted for a large number of destructive insects which at times
have seriously threatened the agricultural economy, the tourist trade, and
You are aware that the Entomology Research Division cooperates
closely with state agricultural experiment stations, state plant boards,
state departments of agriculture, industry, and other agencies in the
conduct of research studies. Although the results of these studies directly
benefit the particular state in which the work is done, they also may be
of considerable value to other states. Today I should like to talk about
some fairly recent cooperative research relating to Florida insect prob-
lems. I will discuss some of the work done in the various branches and
laboratories of the Division, including the Pioneering Research Labora-
tories, in order also to acquaint you with its present organization.
INSECT IDENTIFICATION AND PARASITE INTRODUCTION LABORATORIES
Identification work.-The Insect Identification and Parasite Introduction
Laboratories have been engaged in research studies and much service work
of direct interest to entomologists in Florida. During 1957 the Insect
Identification staff received thirty lots of insects from the Florida Plant
Board and submitted approximately 4,600 determinations. The Plant Board
is using the returned, named material to build a reference collection of
Florida insects. When such a collection is available, Florida entomologists
should be able to identify most of their insects without sending them to
Washington. In addition to the time saved, they will be able to familiarize
themselves with the insects of Florida more easily, with consequent benefit
to research in economic entomology.
One recent taxonomic study involving insects of economic importance
to Florida is now complete. A revision of the fruit-piercing moths of the
genus Gonodonta will shortly appear as a technical bulletin of the USDA.
1 Invitational paper presented on August 28, 1958, at the 41st Annual
Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society, Tampa, Florida.
2Assistant Director, Entomology Research Division Agricultural Re-
search Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Station,
The Florida Entomologist
Several species occur in Florida and have been reported to injure citrus.
Other species have caused serious losses of citrus fruit in Mexico and
South America. The bulletin will summarize information on the habits,
distribution, and economic importance of all species of the genus.
Another study under way concerns a fruit fly known as Anastrepha
fraterculus (Wied.). In Mexico it is not important on citrus, but attacks
rose apple, guava, peach, and almond, whereas in South America the species
referred to as fraterculus sometimes causes 70 to 90 percent damage to
citrus crops. This study is being made to determine whether more than
one species is involved and to evaluate the extent to which the Mexican
population of fraterculus constitutes a threat to the American citrus in-
dustry. Dr. R. H. Foote, who is conducting the research on Anastrepha,
also assisted in establishing the Mediterranean fruit fly identification labora-
tory in Miami and directed the identification work during the peak of the
eradication program in 1956.
Parasite introductions.-Personnel of these Laboratories stationed in
France and India have shipped numerous parasites and predators to the
United States. Some of these are received by the laboratory in Moores-
town, N. J., where they are inspected for hyperparasites and then distrib-
uted for field release. To provide adequate stock for testing and release,
many species are propagated at the Moorestown laboratory.
During 1956 the 26 shipments of biological-control agents to Florida
included 14 species and 49,580 specimens, of which more than 33,500 were
adult parasitic Hymenoptera, the remainder being eggs of different species
of ladybird beetles and lacewing flies. Most of these parasites and preda-
tors were released against the yellow sugarcane aphid, the green peach
aphid, or the Rhodes-grass scale.
PESTICIDE CHEMICALS RESEARCH LABORATORIES
New insecticides.-New insecticides less toxic to warm-blooded animals
than any now in general use have recently been discovered by our chemists
at Beltsville in their search for insecticidal chemicals that leave no harmful
residue. The new compounds, esters of chysanthemumic acid, are only about
one-eighth as toxic as pyrethrum and one-third as toxic as allethrin, pre-
viously considered our safest insecticides.
6-Chloropiperonyl chrysanthemumate, known as barthrin, has given good
results in laboratory tests as a larvicide against the common malaria mos-
quito and salt-marsh mosquitoes. It is probably somewhat less effective
than pyrethrum against the yellow-fever mosquito. It was found effective
against the salt-marsh caterpillar, southern army worm, codling moth,
boll weevil, body louse, and some species of cockroaches. Barthrin is now
being produced on a pilot-plant scale in amounts sufficient for field testing
against these insects, and it is also being evaluated against many other
species. For some uses barthrin may have certain advantages over pyre-
thrum and allethrin-lower toxicity to warm-blooded animals, stability,
broad range of killing power, and lower cost.
Attractants.-Attractants as well as insecticides are useful in the con-
trol and eradication of insect pests. In combination with toxicants they
may lure insects to their death, or as baits in traps they may be used to
Vol. 42, No. 1
Hoffmann: Florida Insect Problems
determine the location and extent of infestations. Both these uses played
a large part in the success of the recent Mediterranean fruit fly eradication
campaign in Florida.
A few weeks before the "Medfly" was found in Florida in the spring of
1956, entomologists of the Entomology Research Division in Hawaii dis-
covered that angelica seed oil is an excellent attractant for the males. With
the appearance of the fly in Florida, about 50,000 traps containing the oil
were set out to determine the extent of the infestation, to guide the spray-
ing program, and measure eradication progress. Since only about 600
pounds of angelica seed oil are produced in the world annually, the eradi-
cation program had consumed practically the entire supply by the latter
part of 1956.
Chemists of the Division at Beltsville had been synthesizing organic
compounds of many types for testing as attractants for several fruit fly
species. Some of the esters of 6-methyl-3-cyclohexene-l-carboxylic acid
were among the most effective attractants for the "Medfly" tried up to that
time. Initial field tests indicated that the isopropyl ester was the most
attractive, and arrangements were immediately made for the manufacture
of several thousand pounds of it for use in the Florida eradication cam-
paign. This material became available just in time to meet the emergency
due to exhaustion of the angelica seed oil supply. Later the sec-butyl
ester, now called siglure, was found to be about twice as attractive as the
isopropyl ester, and production was shifted to the new compound. When
used in proper dosage, siglure is as attractive to the "Medfly" as the best
grades of angelica seed oil.
FIELD CROPS INSECTS AND BEE CULTURE RESEARCH BRANCH
Rhodes-grass scale.-Control of the Rhodes-grass scale through the
release and establishment of a wasp parasite, Anagyrus antoninae Timber-
lake, is showing considerable promise. This scale has become widespread
in southern and central Florida. It is often a serious pest of Rhodes,
Para, Carib, St. Augustine, and other pasture grasses. Since it could not
be economically controlled in pastures with insecticides, in July, 1954, 800
of the Anagyrus parasites were released near Clewiston. The initial re-
lease was made of free-living adults, and subsequent releases by placing
stems of grasses infested with parasitized scales about infested pastures.
In the area where the first releases were made it is now difficult to find
Rhodes-grass scales. The parasite has spread over an area of several
square miles. No release has failed to result in establishment of the par-
asites. The continued dissemination of this parasite should help solve the
Rhodes-grass scale problem in southern Florida.
Sugarcane insects.-Recent studies in cooperation with the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station indicate that the difference in method of
harvesting sugarcane in Florida and Louisiana may be responsible for
differences in sugarcane borer populations. In southern Florida it is
customary to burn the foliage in the field before it is cut. This burning
produces high temperatures that result in destruction of the borer. By
the use of a maximum thermometer, temperatures inside stalks were ob-
tained in cane fields as they were burned. Inside stalk temperatures
ranged from 1250 to 190 F. Immersion of living fourth- and fifth-instar
The Florida Entomologist
larvae in water for 2 minutes at 1250 and for 1 second at 1900 resulted in
100 percent mortality.
Studies on biological control of the sugarcane borer, which were begun
in 1915, consisted in the colonization of large numbers of the Cuban fly,
Lixophaga diatraeae, in Louisiana. Liberations of this parasite in Florida
were started in the thirties. The climate and cultural practices in southern
Florida are much more favorable for parasite survival than those in Louisi-
ana. The Cuban fly became well established in the State. However, even
here the occasional frosty winter periods kill large numbers of this para-
site, with consequent low parasitization the following season. At Fells-
mere the average parasitism of the borer by the Cuban fly was 69 percent
in 1957 but only 9 percent in 1956. Surveys made in the spring of 1958
revealed no living Cuban flies. The mortality was attributed to the severity
of the past winter.
Biological-control studies are also being carried on with the yellow
sugarcane aphid. In May of this year over 10,000 ladybugs, lacewings,
and hymenopterous parasites received from Moorestown were released in
cane fields to explore their possibilities in control of this aphid.
Work is also being done in cooperation with the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station to develop varieties resistant to sugarcane insects and
to find better insecticides for control of the sugarcane borer and soil insects
White-fringed beetle.-The white-fringed beetle was first found in the
United States in a peanut field in Okaloosa County, Florida, in 1936. Much
of the research on control methods for this pest has been done' at the
Division's Florala, Alabama, laboratory. These methods have been used
with considerable success in Florida and other Southern States.
Hoja blanca.-After the discovery of hoja blanca on rice in Florida in
1957, our entomologists began making rather extensive collections of leaf-
hoppers and other insects on rice. The only known vector of this disease
is the leafhopper Sogata orizicola, a species found in Florida but not in
Corn earworm.-In cooperation with the Central Florida Experiment
Station at Sanford a study was made in 1957 on the effect of different
sweet corn plant types on earworm control by power spraying. No signifi-
cant differences were found due to plant type under the unfavorable
weather conditions prevailing; Work was also carried out at Belle Glade
on the evaluation of sweet corn inbreds and hybrids for earworm suscepti-
bility, and a promising Texas sweet corn hybrid was found to have both
earworm and Helminthosporium resistance.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INSECTS RESEARCH BRANCH
Citrus scales and mites.-Work on insects and mites affecting citrus
is carried on in Orlando, Florida, and Whittier, California, and supple-
ments that of the Florida Experiment Station at Lake Alfred. In Florida
the chief concern is the purple scale and several kinds of mites. There
have been important contributions (1) in the development of spray sched-
ules for the safe and effective use of parathion and malathion for scale
control, (2) in the measurement of the early coloring and quality of citrus
Vol. 42, No. 1
Hoffmann: Florida Insect Problems
sprayed with these materials as compared with that sprayed with oil, and
(3) on the determination of residues in the fruit at harvest following their
use in various schedules. These phosphorus insecticides, widely used for
controlling mites on other crops, are ineffective against mites infesting
citrus, and spray schedules in which they are included must be fortified
with a miticide. There have been important contributions, too, in the
evaluation of the new miticides and of combinations of them with materials
used to control scale insects, so that it will not be necessary to make sep-
arate applications. This work has already led to the recommendation of
dinitro insecticides, ovex, and Aramite for mite control, and other ma-
terials are showing promise. The systemic insecticides, demeton and
schradan, have been found to be most effective against scale insects and
mites when applied as full-coverage sprays.
In California there are under way basic studies of interest to Florida
on factors that influence populations of the citrus red mite and on its
development of resistance to miticides such as ovex and demeton. These
studies have been made possible by the development of a technique for
rearing this mite continuously under controlled conditions in the laboratory.
Biological control of citrus pests.-Biological-control studies have been
largely exploratory to determine the beneficial species involved, the factors
responsible for their effectiveness, and the feasibility of nonspray control
programs. Limited releases of recently introduced beneficial coccinelids
have been made, but establishment has not yet been found. There is par-
ticular interest in determining whether it is feasible for growers generally
to adopt a nonspray program, and in developing recommendations for
changing groves to such a program. Recently a Division entomologist
with wide experience in biological control has gone to Lake Alfred to work
with the entomologists of the Florida Experiment Station. Such a joint
effort will undoubtedly accelerate the procurement of information on the
basic factors involved in the biological control of citrus pests in Florida
and of a practical way for growers to integrate natural and chemical con-
trol. Important beneficial species not already present will be introduced
and colonized, and special attention will be given to the selection of pesti-
cides that can be used to supplement the biological control with the least
harmful effect on the beneficial forms.
Insect vectors of citrus diseases.-Research on the insect vectors of
citrus diseases has been largely concerned with tristeza and has led to
the incrimination of the spirea, cotton, and black citrus aphids as vectors.
Experiments are under way to determine if insects are vectors of such
diseases as xyloporosis, exorcortis, and blight.
Mediterranean and other fruit flies.-The recent "Medfly" eradication
program in Florida focused attention on the research being conducted on
fruit flies in Hawaii and Mexico. There is no doubt concerning the im-
portance of the work on fruit flies at those field stations to the success of
that program. That research provided valuable information on the status
of important crops as hosts, and made possible the recommendation of
ethylene dibromide fumigation to permit the normal movement of hosts
maturing in infested areas. It also led to the recommendation of improved
attractants for bait traps used to determine the area and intensity of
infestation and effectiveness of the spray program. Moreover, the mala-
The Florida Entomologist
thion bait spray was found effective against the "Medfly" when dispersed
from airplanes. An important early development during the eradication
campaign was a plastic trap and a dry bait for use in such a trap. Techni-
cal advice was furnished on application schedules, insecticide formulations,
proper type of spray coverage, and on trap placement and operation.
When the protein attractant in the bait spray was in short supply, a suit-
able substitute was recommended. When the supply of the angelica seed
oil attractant, depended on in the trapping program, was inadequate, re-
search of chemists and entomologists in the Division led to the discovery
and use of a synthetic substitute.
There is continuing in Hawaii work on all phases of fruit fly problems.
The status of questionable and borderline hosts is being further evaluated,
and improved and safer commodity treatments are being sought. A strong
screening program for more attractive baits and for more desirable in-
secticides in the bait spray is being continued. The sterilization of males
by irradiation is being considered as a possible means of eradicating in-
cipient infestations of the "Medfly."
Pecan insects.-Work on pecans is carried on at Monticello in coopera-
tion with the Florida Experiment Station, and also in Georgia and Louisi-
ana. Important recent findings are that DDT and toxaphene are effective
against the pecan weevil, an insect for which there was previously no sat-
isfactory control; that many of the new insecticides, such as DDT, para-
thion, malathion, EPN, and Guthion, are much more effective against the
pecan nut casebearer than the lead arsenate and nicotine sprays used
previously; and that EPN and Guthion are fairly effective in preventing
late-season damage by the hickory shuckworm, an insect for which there
has been no effective control. Since neither EPN nor Guthion prevents
early-season shuckworm damage and schedules may be too expensive for
use against late-season damage, there is interest in exploring other meth-
ods of control. Therefore, studies on the flight habits of shuckworm
moths and a screening program for attractants for possible use in bait
sprays have recently been undertaken at Monticello.
Southern potato wireworm and cabbage looper.-The work on potato
and cabbage insects at our Charleston, South Carolina, station is of special
interest to Florida growers, particularly in the Hastings area where there
has been so much difficulty in the control of the southern potato wireworm
and the cabbage looper. The Charleston station cooperates with the Florida
Potato Investigations Laboratory at Hastings.
The southern potato wireworm is now the major wireworm pest in
vegetable-growing areas of the Southeastern States. Unlike the common
Gulf Coast wireworm, this new pest has two generations a year. In
experiments during 1956 with various chlorinated hydrocarbons, only DDT
gave worth-while control. Consequently, in 1957, DDT at 20 pounds per
acre was widely used in South Carolina. However, the results were vari-
able. Studies during 1957 indicated that parathion at 2 pounds per acre
would be more effective.
A screening program has been initiated at Charleston, in which the
more promising new insecticides and nematocides are tested in the labora-
tory for toxicity to this wireworm. A large number of insecticides are
also being tested in small-field plots for toxicity to the cabbage looper.
Vol. 42, No. 1
Hoffmann: Florida Insect Problems
Tobacco insects.-In studies on tobacco in the Carolinas and Florida
emphasis is given to methods of controlling insects without leaving in-
secticide residues on the leaf or in the soil. In North Carolina the biology
and ecology of tobacco insects is being studied with emphasis on predators,
parasites, and diseases. It has been indicated that Polistes wasps may be
utilized to reduce the need for insecticides against hornworms. Encour-
ging results have also been obtained by spraying the plants with cultures
of the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Under some con-
ditions control with this disease has compared favorably with that obtained
with the most effective insecticides, but under other conditions not well
understood the disease has not been so effective.
A search is also being made for suitable substitute insecticides to com-
bat tobacco insects. Materials now recommended include parathion, endrin,
DDT, and TDE, but although effective, they leave objectionable residues.
As a substitute for parathion in the control of the green peach aphid in
Florida, 3-percent Phosdrin dust has given good protection on shade-grown
tobacco when applied once a week. There is evidence that excess dosages
might injure the tender wrapper leaves. Thiodan has also given promising
results against the aphid as well as against hornworms and other tobacco
insects. Residues of Thiodan are less objectionable than those of the in-
secticides now in use. It appears to be effective against green June beetle
larvae and earthworms in tobacco seed beds as well as against insects that
feed on the foliage. The cabbage looper, a relatively new pest of tobacco,
is controlled with endrin.
Investigations in cooperation with industry have shown that the usual
accumulations of the recommended insecticides in soils will not lower the
quality or yield of tobacco, except possibly where crop rotation is not
practiced. Endrin, demeton, BHC, toxaphene, aldrin, dieldrin, and EPN
can be applied to cotton foliage at the recommended dosages without
danger that residues in the soil will affect the taste or flavor of subsequent
crops of tobacco.
INSECTS AFFECTING MAN AND ANIMALS RESEARCH BRANCH
Research on insects affecting man and animals has been of vital con-
cern to the State of Florida for many years. In 1930 a Federal laboratory
was established at Orlando which was concerned primarily with the biology
and control of mosquitoes, especially the salt-marsh species. Early in
1942 the research program was expanded to include other pests of medical
importance, including lice, ticks, fleas, flies, and chiggers. This expansion
was necessary to fulfill the needs of our military services for repellents and
insecticides to control medically important pests in overseas areas. How-
ever, most of these pests were problems in Florida, and research advances
therefore were applicable over the State and also to other States.
Mosquitoes.-Early research on mosquitoes included taxonomy, biology,
and eliminative control methods. The results were compiled in "Mosqui-
toes of the Southeastern States" a Department of Agriculture publication
that has been of immense value to mosquito workers. Incidentally, Drs.
King, Bradley, and Smith are working on an extensive revision of this
8 The Florida Entomologist Vol. 42, No. 1
The first and foremost accomplishment of the Orlando laboratory was,
of course, the development of DDT for use in mosquito control. Research
in 1942 showed that extremely small amounts of DDT would provide ef-
fective control of larvae and adults in their natural habitats. Airplane
and ground equipment was developed for applying it over large areas.
Thus, for the first time in history weapons were available for abating the
mosquito nuisance in Florida and other problem areas.
Another significant contribution was the residual treatment of homes
with DDT for the control of malaria. This discovery hastened the eradi-
cation of malaria in the United States, and its widespread application has
brought about drastic reductions and elimination of the disease in some
of the most malarious areas in the world. Lindane and BHC proved to
be effective against DDT-resistant mosquitoes and were used extensively.
However, recognizing that resistance to these materials was certain tWd
develop, the search was continued and several promising organic phos-
phorus materials were found. One of these, malathion, has now been used
in Florida for several years and is still giving good results, especially
against adults. Diazinon and several other phosphorus compounds have
also proved effective as larvicides and adulticides. In recent tests a new
class of insecticides, the chrysanthemumic acid esters, has shown promise.
Several of the phosphorus and chrysanthemumic compounds have shown
exceptional promise for residual treatments of homes and are currently
being tested under practical field conditions.
House flies.-During the war years the use of DDT in space and resid-
ual sprays, and as aerosols, was developed for fly control. This use was
of great value in Florida and also in all areas where fly-borne diseases
are a serious public health problem.
After several years flies became resistant to DDT, and it was necessary
to find new insecticides for control. Chlordane, lindane, and several other
chlorinated hydrocarbons were found to be effective, but flies became re-
sistant to them within a year or two. Thus, by 1950 we had nothing to
combat flies except pyrethrum. Special emphasis was placed on the de-
velopment of baits containing organic phosphorus insecticides. This re-
search led to a TEPP-molasses formulation which could be sprinkled on
the floors of barns and other premises, and later to several granular baits
which could be broadcast. These baits were very effective and convenient
to use, and were soon being marketed all over the country.
Residual insecticides, such as malathion and Diazinon, are now widely
used for fly control. Unfortunately, once again the specter of resistance
has reared its ugly head and we apparently will soon need substitutes for
the organic phosphorus compounds. However, we are confident that re-
search will produce new insecticides which will enable us to combat the
house fly problem in the future.
Fleas.-Research at Orlando showed that DDT was far more effective
against fleas than either pyrethrum or rotenone. Other chlorinated hydro-
carbon insecticides, including lindane, were also found useful, and methods
of controlling fleas in yards, pens, and kennels were devised. When fleas
became resistant to these insecticides, further experiments demonstrated
the usefulness of organic phosphorus compounds, especially malathion
Hoffmann: Florida Insect Problems
Cockroaches.-In recent years the search for good cockroach killers
has been intensified, primarily because a resistance problem exists with
the German roach. Several colonies of this roach at Orlando are strongly
resistant to chlordane and dieldrin. Our research has shown some resist-
ance also to lindane, but the biggest surprise is a measurable amount of
resistance to synergized pyrethrins. This discovery, made at Orlando, has
special importance, since there was hope that if insects became resistant
to modern insecticides we could return to plant derivatives.
In addition to laboratory and field tests with promising cockroach toxi-
cants, our entomologists are studying roach repellents. Several com-
pounds have shown excellent repellency in laboratory tests, and soon some
of these will be field-tested in an area of substandard housing.
Repellents.-Today, largely because of the research done at the Orlando
laboratory, we have several excellent repellents, including diethyltolua-
mide, ethyl hexanediol, dimethyl carbate, dimethyl phthalate, Indalone,
and butyl ethyl propanediol. Through their use our men in the Armed
Forces overseas are being protected against vectors of malaria, dengue,
yellow fever, scrub typhus, and other arthropod-borne diseases. For the
first time fishermen in areas where salt-marsh mosquitoes thrived could
obtain protection for hours by a single application of repellent. Research
at Orlando had selected compounds for repellency not only against mos-
quitoes, but also against ticks, fleas, chiggers, and various biting flies.
Repellents have been developed for application to the bare skin, and also
Screw-worm.-Although the Florida cattle industry is beset with many
insect problems, the Entomology Research Division has conducted research
on only a few of them. The greatest effort has been devoted to the screw-
worm fly. Research has been centered on eradication through the release
of males sterilized by exposure of the pupae to radiation from a cobalt-
60 source. Field trials of the method were initiated about 1951 on Sanibel
Island. Later the method was used to eradicate the screw-worm on the
island of Curacao. Following this successful demonstration, work was
undertaken to obtain a low-cost larval medium and to improve rearing
methods. These advancements were tested on a 2,000 square mile area in
Florida last year as a dry run to the eradication attempt. Now, as you all
know, the eradication effort has been under way about six months and the
results look very promising. Recent reports by the Animal Disease Eradi-
cation Division indicate that no screw-worms have been found north of
Orlando for several months, and infestations have been drastically reduced
over the rest of the State. This reduction has been accomplished with
releases of 10 to 14 million sterilized flies per week. Now the excellent
Sebring facilities are in operation and about 50 millions of flies per week
are being reared, sterilized, and released. Everyone concerned with this
program is optimistic over the possibility of achieving eradication of the
screw-worm, which has caused losses to southeastern cattle raisers as high
as $20 million a year.
PIONEERING RESEARCH LABORATORIES
I believe the members of this Society will also be much interested in
knowing that the Agricultural Research Service has established at Belts-
The Florida Entomologist
ville two pioneering research laboratories in the Entomology Research
Division, namely, an Insect Physiology Laboratory and an Insect Pathology
Laboratory. The objective is to provide a steady stream of scientific
knowledge and facts to meet the over-all objectives of ARS research pro-
grams. The laboratories are being equipped with modern instrumenta-
tion and staffed with only the most capable research scientists, who will
make explorations into unknown fields. These scientists are freed of
practically all administrative responsibilities and can pursue investiga-
tions without special regard to their applicability to economic problems.
In other words, they will not be working on any crisis insect-control prob-
lems necessitating investigations toward definite economic goals. The
establishment of these laboratories will not reduce the amount of basic
entomological research investigations to be undertaken at our field labora-
Research in the Insect Physiology Laboratory is to include physio-
logical and biochemical studies on insect growth, development, sensory
perception, reproduction, and the utilization and fate of essential metabo-
lites. Comparative studies with insects and mammals concerning the in-
toxication and detoxication systems involved in insecticide and synergist
mode of action, and investigations on the biochemical and physiological
bases of insect resistance to insecticides will also be conducted. The over-
all goal is to obtain information on the normal physiological and biochemical
processes of insects, including the action of insecticidal compounds on
Research in the Insect Pathology Laboratory is to be on the funda-
mental nature of pathogenic microorganisms associated with insects.
Fundamental studies will be made of entomogenous microorganisms and
the environmental conditions under which they are capable of causing
epizootics in insect populations. The insect pathologists will determine the
type of pathogens involved, the conditions under which pathogenic organ-
isms of various kinds are responsible for epizootics in insect populations,
and methods of culture for possible practical application.
It is envisioned that the results of research obtained by these pioneering
research laboratories will eventually be of great help to entomologists in
Florida and throughout the Nation in meeting some of the complex insect
problems facing our profession today.
Make plans now to attend the
42nd ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
in Miami on September 10 and 11.
Vol. 42, No. It
COMPARISON OF FIELD CORN VARIETIES FOR
RESISTANCE TO CORN EARWORM AND STORED
GRAIN INSECT INJURY IN THE EVERGLADES1 2
EMMETT D. HARRIS, JR., AND VICTOR E. GREEN, JR.
Everglades Experiment Station, University of Florida, Belle Glade
The literature on resistance of field corn varieties to attack by various
insects has been extensively reviewed by Painter (1951, 1958). Dixie 18
has been described as the leading yellow hybrid of the southern United
States and possessing resistance to both the corn earworm, Heliothis zea
(Boddie), and the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryza (L.) (Douglas and Eck-
hardt, 1957). Although Dixie 18 has been recommended and used widely
throughout most of Florida (Horner, 1954), Corneli 54 has been found to
be agronomically superior in south Florida and is widely used (Green,
1956; Green, Forsee, Thames, and Boyd, 1957). Green et al reported that
Corneli 54 has much more resistance to corn earworm attack than Dixie
18 or Big Joe and is about equal in resistance to Francisco Flint. Horner
recognized that although Dixie 18 was adaptable to north Florida, it was
not suitable for south Florida. He presented no data on resistance to
attack by insects.
The authors conducted their studies on established varieties in an effort
to find a variety suitable for cultivation in south Florida. Adaptability
from the standpoint of insect attack was studied and the varieties were
compared as to origin and yield of grain corn in bushels per acre (Table 1).
Two field experiments were conducted in 1957 to compare several
varieties (Table 1) for adaptability to culture in the Everglades. This in-
cluded a study of varietal resistance to corn earworm and stored grain
insect attack. The only stored grain insect causing noticeable damage was
the rice weevil.
Seed for the first experiment was planted on February 8 and that for
the second on February 13, 1957, on Everglades peaty, muck soil that had
been planted in corn every year for the preceding 15 years. Aldrin was
applied for wireworm control at the rate of 5 pounds per acre before plant-
ing. Budworms were controlled by one application of DDT, 25% emulsion
concentrate at 1 quart, and two applications of toxaphene, 40% wettable
powder, at 21/2 pounds per acre in 100 gallons of water. No insecticides
were applied after the corn began to silk.
Each plot consisted of a single 50 foot row. The rows were spaced
three feet apart and plants were spaced one foot apart in the row. Each
variety was replicated six times in each planting. Nine varieties were
compared in the first planting and ten were compared in the second. Six
of these varieties were compared in both experiments.
The corn from both plantings was harvested, husked, and stored in
mesh bags on July 24 in an open bin where it remained for approximately
61/2 weeks before it was examined for corn earworm and stored grain
SFlorida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 784.
2 The authors wish to thank Mr. C. E. Seiler and Mr. Robert Kent for
assistance in evaluating the insect damage and Mr. Edward King, Jr., for
preparing the graphs.
The Florida Entomologist
insect damage. Varieties from the earlier planting were examined on Sep-
tember 9; those from the second planting were examined on September 6.
TABLE 1. VARIETIES OF CORN USED IN STUDY OF INSECT INJURY.
BELLE GLADE, 1957.
Variety Breeding Origin, Grain Yield,
Name Origin Country Bu./ft. U.S. No. 2
Corneli 54 Hyb. Cuba 83
Cueto 56 Hyb. Cuba 81
Funk G-737A Hyb. USA (La.) 83
Funk G-740 Hyb. USA (La.) 77
Rocamex H-503 Hyb. Mexico 69
Dixie 18 Hyb. USA (Fla.) 59
U. S. 625 Hyb. USA (Md.) 90
U. S. 626 Hyb. USA (Md.) 87
U.S. 645 Hyb. USA (Md.) 99
DeKalb 1051 Hyb. USA (Ill.) 58
Big Joe Syn. USA (Fla.) 70
Tiquisate O.P. Guatemala 66
Francisco Flint O.P. Cuba 59
Hyb.-Double Cross Hybrid; Syn.-Multilined Synthetic; O.P.-Open-Pollinated Variety.
A sample of 25 ears was taken from each plot. Each ear was assigned
two injury index numbers (0-5), one to indicate degree of earworm injury
and the other to designate the extent of stored grain insect damage. The
only stored grain insect that appeared to be damaging the corn was the
rice weevil. An average index was computed for each plot and each insect
species and multiplied by 100. The indexes were then analyzed statistical-
ly. The highest possible index, 500, would indicate the greatest amount
of damage that would occur from either insect.
The index numbers for corn earworm damage were assigned according
to the method of Walter (1948). Damage at the side of the ears from ear-
worms penetrating through the husks was practically non-existent and was
not included to obtain the indexes in this report. The system used to in-
dicate the degree of rice weevil damage was arbitrarily established at the
time of examination. Both indexing systems are shown in Table 2.
Although the percentage of infested or uninfested ears was obtained
for each insect and variety, it is not presented, as this criterion has been
found inferior to the indexing system for comparisons of varieties for ear-
worm resistance (Harris, 1958). The two criteria were not compared for
stored grain insect damage.
VARIETIES AND EARWORM DAMAGE. In the first planting the flinty
Cuban varieties, Cueto 56 (a double-cross hybrid) and Francisco Flint (an
,open-pollinated selection), had significantly less earworm damage than
Rocamex H-503, a white dent variety from Mexico, and Big Joe, a multi-
lined synthetic variety released at the Everglades Experiment Station in
Vol. 42, No. 1
Harris: Insect Injury in the Everglades
TABLE 2. INDEXES FOR SHOWING THE DEGREE OF INSECT DAMAGE TO
FIELD CORN EARS.
Corn Earworm Damage
Index to Tip of Ear
Tip of ear only
1/2" below ear tip
114" below ear tip
21/2" below ear tip
More than 2" below ear tip
40 or more kernels
40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220
Earworm Injury Index
Fig. 1. Corn earworm damage among field corn varieties. Varieties
joined by one of the vertical lines on the left side of the graph are not sig-
nificantly different; those not joined are significantly different.
The Florida Entomologist
1943 (Figure 1). Big Joe can be expected to yield approximately equal
numbers of flinty, semi-flinty, and dent ears.
In the second planting Francisco Flint and Cueto 56 had significantly
less earworm damage than any other variety (Figure 2). Big Joe ranked
next but was not significantly better than any other variety except DeKalb
1051, a dent corn from Illinois.
The data from the two plantings were grouped to compare the six va-
rieties that were contained in both (Figure 3). Francisco Flint and Cueto
56 had significantly less earworm damage than the semi-flint Funk double-
cross hybrids G-737A and G-740, Corneli 54 (the semi-flinty Cuban double-
cross hybrid widely used in south Florida), and Big Joe, the Everglades
Experiment Station synthetic variety that was widely used before the
introduction of Corneli 54.
February 8, 1957
F isco Flint Flint
Gueto 56 Flint
::': Tiquisate Flint
*::': .-:-:-:Dixie 18 Semi-flint
Funk G-737A Semi-flint
neli 54 Semi-flint '
:amex H-503 Dent n
,*':.:, Big Joe Mixed
February 13, 1957
isco Flint Flint
SCueto 56 Flint
SFunk G-737A Semi-flint
i:W..-i Funk G-740 Semi-flint
Average of Plantings
3 Flint Flint
)ueto 56 Flint
SFunk G-737A Semi-flint
..:... Funk G-740 Semi-flint
130 150 170 190 210 230 250 270 290 310 330
Stored Groin Insect Injury Index
Fig. 2. Rice weevil damage among field corn varieties. Varieties
joined by one of the vertical lines on the left side of the graph are not sig-
nificantly different; those not joined are significantly different.
Vol. 42, No. 1
Harris: Insect Injury in the Everglades
VARIETY AND RICE WEEVIL DAMAGE. Francisco Flint had significantly
less rice weevil damage than all other varieties except Cueto 56, Tiquisate
(an open-pollinated variety from Guatemala), and Dixie 18 (the double-
cross hybrid grown widely in the southeast and north Florida) in the first
planting (Figure 4). Cueto 56 had significantly less earworm damage
than Corneli 54, Rocamex H-503, or Big Joe.
In the later planting Francisco Flint had a significantly more resistance
to rice weevil damage than all other varieties except Cueto 56 and Funk
G-737A (Figure 5). Cueto 56 and Funk G-737A were significantly better
than all varieties other than Funk G-740, which was significantly better
than four dent varieties: U. S. hybrids 625, 645, and 626, and DeKalb 1051.
Among the six varieties that were common to both plantings, Francisco
Flint had a significantly lower degree of damage than the others. Cueto
56 ranked next and was significantly better than all other varieties except
Funk G-737A. Funk G-737A had a significantly lower degree of damage
than Corneli 54 or Big Joe.
CORN EARWORM AND RICE WEEVIL DAMAGE RELATED. In these tests
there was a tendency for the varieties to be ranked similarly for corn
earworm and rice weevil damage. In both plantings there was a highly
significant correlation among the variety average indexes for earworm
and rice weevil damage. There are probably at least two causes for this.
Perhaps the same variety characteristics caused resistance or lack of re-
sistance to both corn earworms and rice weevils, or earworm damage could
make ears more readily accessible to the rice weevil as suggested by
Douglas and Eckhardt (1957).
KERNEL HARDNESS AND INSECT DAMAGE.. There seems to be a definite
tendency for the degree of corn earworm or rice weevil damage to be lower
among the flint corns and higher among the dent varieties, with the semi-
flint corns occupying an intermediate position. This tendency seems to
be greater for rice weevil damage than it is for corn earworm damage.
Dicke and Jenkins (1945) reported that resistant corns which they worked
with had hard, starchy kernels and that resistance was not always found
in long-husked strains. The only variety in the present study that pos-
sessed a long-husked ear was Dixie 18.
Dicke, F. F., and Merle T. Jenkins. 1945. Susceptibility of certain
strains of field corn in hybrid combinations to damage by corn ear-
worms. U. S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bull. 898: 1-36.
Douglas, W. A., and R. C. Eckhardt. 1957. Dent corn inbreds and hybrids
resistant to the corn earworm in the south. U. S. Dept. Agri. Tech.
Bull. 1160: 1-13.
Green, Victor E., Jr. 1956. A new hybrid field corn for south Florida,
Corneli 54. Fla. Grower and Rancher 64(1): 24, 34.
Green, Victor E., Jr., W. T. Forsee, Jr., Walter H. Thames, Jr., and
F. T. Boyd. 1957. Field corn production in south Florida. Fla.
Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 582: 1-44.
Harris, Emmett D., Jr. 1958. Factors affecting the results of corn ear-
worm control studies. Fla. Ent. 41(2): 51-60.
Horner, Earl S. 1953. The field corn breeding program in Florida. Soil
Sci. Soc. of Fla. 13: 52-56.
The Florida Entomologist
Painter, Reginald H. 1951. Insect resistance in crop plants. p. 193-274.
MacMillan Company. New York.
Painter, Reginald H. 1958. Resistance of plants to insects. Ann. Rev.
of Ent. 3: 267-290.
Walter, E. V. 1948. Corn earworm resistance in sweet corn inbreds and
hybrids. U. S. Dept. of Agr. B. E. P. Q. E-745: 1-22.
SUB-TROPICAL BRANCH, FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Sixteen people attended the monthly meeting of the Sub-tropical Branch
at the South Miami Community Hall on February 11, 1959.
Our speaker for the evening was Dr. Lowell D. Uhler, Professor of
Biology, Department of Entomology, Cornell University. His topic, "The
Life History of the Goldenrod Ball Gall, Eurosta solidaginia Fitch," proved
to be very interesting and informative to the group.
CHARLES C. HILL
Vol. 42, No. I
A NEW GENUS OF MITES OCCURRING IN FLORIDA
AND MEXICO (ACARINA: CALIGONELLIDAE)
DONALD DE LEON
Pensacola, North Carolina
The mite described here is an unusual raphignathoid in that it has
exceptionally long body setae and its eggs are fastened to the ends of
Xenocaligonellidus, n. gen.
Caligonellids nearly circular in dorsal view; idiosoma without striae;
many of the dorsal body setae nearly as long as or longer than width of
body and with some of the dorsal body setae short and coarse; two pairs
of eyes; anus ventral in female; tibial claw of palpus represented as a
Type species: Xenocaligonellidus ovaerialis, n. sp.
Xenocaligonellidus ovaerialis, n. sp.
FEMALE: Body and legs red, dorsal body setae black; idiosoma some-
what depressed, nearly circular in dorsal view. Stylophore broad at base,
fixed digit slender, sharply pointed. Peritremata extending from near
bases of movable digits, g-shaped, short celled. Palpus 5-segmented, the
tarsus longer than the tibia, with a basal sensillum and with setae as shown
in figure 4. Idiosoma smooth above, striate below in parts, with ten pairs
of whiplike setae most of them nearly as long as to much longer than
width of body and five pairs of short (36-72 microns), coarse, distally
spinose setae on dorsum; three pairs of genital setae and three pairs of
anal setae, the caudalmost pair of anal setae very much longer (about 65
microns long) than the others; anus ventral. Legs relatively short and
heavy, legs I-IV (from base of femur to end of claw) 123, 116. 109, and
126 microns long respectively, sensilla and setae as shown in figures 1-3.
Length of idiosoma 217 microns, width 225 microns.
MALE: Resembles female, but dorsum with nine pairs of long whip-
like setae, three pairs of rather short (45-55 microns), coarse, distally
spinose setae and two pairs of short, weakly bracteate rather coarse setae,
the anterior pair about twice as long as the posterior pair; three pairs of
anal setae the caudalmost pair the longest; anal pore terminal; aedeagus
of shape shown in figure 5. Tarsi I-IV each with a sensillum, the sensilla
18, 20, 9, and 10 microns long respectively, tapering slightly to tips.
Length of idiosoma 157 microns, width 168 microns.
NYMPH: Resembles female, but dorsum with seven to eight pairs of
long whiplike setae; caudalmost pair of anal setae about twice as long
LARVA: Resembles nymph, but dorsum with six pairs of long whiplike
setae and four pairs of short, distally spinose setae; caudalmost pair of
anal setae about as long as long dorsal setae.
The Florida Entomologist
EGG: Red, nearly round, about 25 microns in diameter; attached to
the distal end of an erect stalk about 75 microns long.
Holotype: Female, Coral Gables, Florida, April 11, 1956, (D. De Leon)
from Quercus virginiana. Paratypes: Two males, two females, two
nymphs, 20 larvae, same data as for holotype and on same slide; two fe-
males, two larvae, December 27, 1955, other data as for holotype; one
female, April 1, 1956, other data as for holotype; one male, one larva, Coral
Gables, February 21, 1956, from Persea borbonia. Additional specimens
were collected at Coral Gables, May 8, 1956, from Celtis laevigata and at
San Bias, Nay., Mexico from avocado, Inga laurina, and several unidenti-
fied plants during April and May, 1957. Although the Mexican specimens
are somewhat larger and the first two medial pairs of distally spinose
setae are somewhat longer (61 and 65 microns against 45 and 55 microns
respectively) than the Florida specimens, the differences do not appear to
Explanation of Figures
Xenocaligonellidus ovaerialis, n. sp.: Fig. 1, view of female (left half
dorsal, right half ventral); Fig. 2, tibia and tarsus of leg I of female;
Fig. 3, tibia and tarsus of Leg II of female; Fig. 4, palpus of female; Fig.
5, aedeagus; Fig. 6, egg.
These are slow moving mites which are generally found on twigs and
often lay their eggs in clusters-21 eggs having been observed in one
group. A colony was kept for a period of five weeks without any indica-
tion of predatory habits; at times the mites seemed to be probing the bark
surface, but if they were feeding what they were feeding on could not be
Vol. 42, No. 1
De Leon: Mites Occurring in Florida and Mexico 19
determined. The distally spinose dorsal setae frequently bear what appear
to be droplets of liquid on the distal ends.
Paratypes of the new species will be deposited in the University of
Florida Collections, Gainesville; the type and remaining paratypes are in
the author's collection.
The mite is placed in the Caligonellidae primarily because the peri-
tremata enter the stylophore, extending caudad from the bases of the
movable digits to the base of the stylophore; it lacks, however, the "thumb-
claw" complex, an important character of the family. Thus it seems ad-
visable to modify the diagnosis of the family (Summers and Schlinger,
1955) to read "with or without a claw on palptibia" and to erect two sub-
families distinguished as follows:
Palptibia with short stout claw; palptarsus with stubby specialized
distal setae; anal pore terminal or sub-dorsal; body elongate: Caligonel-
linae, genera:-Caligonella Berlese, Neostigmus Willmann, Molothrog-
nathus Summers and Schlinger, and Coptocheles Summers and Schling-
Palptibia lacking claw, claw replaced by seta; palptarsus with elon-
gate specialized distal setae; anal pore ventral in female; body very
broadly oval to nearly circular in dorsal view; many of the dorsal body
setae long and whiplike: Xenocaligonellidinae, genus:-Xenocaligonelli-
dus, n. gen.
The genus Neophyllobius Berlese previously considered to belong in
the Caligonellidae has recently been placed by Southcott in a new family,
Neophyllobiidae Southcott, 1957.
Southcott, R. V. 1957. Description of a new Australian raphignathoid
mite, with remarks on the classification of the Trombidiformes
(Acarina). Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. Wales. 81, part 3, 306-312. 1956!
(Issued Feb. 21, 1957).
Summers, F. M., and E. I. Schlinger. 1955. Mites of the family Cali-
gonellidae (Acarina). Hilgardia 23(12): 539-561.
the best ways to stop
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CHRYSOPIDAE ASSOCIATED WITH CITRUS
MARTIN H. MUMA
Entomologist, Citrus Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida
The following annotated list of green lacewings, Chrysopidae, repre-
sents the present known fauna of this family in Florida citrus groves.
Because of their large size and common occurrence these predators have
received some emphasis during an intensive survey of the predators and
parasites of citrus insects and mites. As is usually the case with such
lists, incompleteness is to be expected but it is believed that the common
species have been recognized.
Literature references citing species of Chrysopidae from citrus in
Florida are rare. Hubbard (1885) recorded a trash-bearing species as
Chrysopa oculata that apparently was the C. cubana Hagen listed here.
In addition Hubbard suspected the existence of several species, one of
which he stated was described as C. citri by Ashmead, listed here as C.
rufilabris. Burm. Hubbard erroneously thought, however, that all of the
species had similar habits. Miller (1929) recorded two lacewings feed-
ing on aphids, C. harrisii Fitch and C. sp. (near lateralis). The former
possibly was the C. interrupt Schneid. listed here, but the latter may
have been any of the several trash-bearing species included in the present
paper. All recent records of lacewings have been reported as C. lateralis
Guer. or Chrysopa sp. ana have been references to predatory habits.
In the annotated list of species given below the original description
of each species is cited from Bickley and McLeod (1956), intra-state and
seasonal distribution are discussed, food habits on citrus noted and the
life cycle, when known, summarized. Larval and adult characters for field
identification are given. Distribution on citrus is discussed for the com-
mon species, otherwise records are cited. For ease of reference the species
are listed alphabetically. A key for field identification of the known species
is also included.
Acknowledgments are due the survey staff of the University of Florida
Citrus Experiment Station at Lake Alfred for valuable assistance in ob-
taining geographic and seasonal distribution records. This staff headed by
Dr. R. M. Pratt includes H. Holtzberg, K. Townsend, W. Davis, T. B. Hal-
lam and L. Sutton. Thanks are also due Dr. W. E. Bickley who identified
KEY FOR FIELD IDENTIFICATION OF CHRYSOPIDAE ON CITRUS
Large species with at least one dark spot near end of front wing.
Distinct markings on mesothorax, none on prothorax, fig. 8. Hind
wings with two spots-Allochrysa virginica (Fitch).
Distinct markings on prothorax. Hind wings with one spot.
Mesothorax without markings, antennae dark, fig. 16-Nodita
1 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 769.
The Florida Entomologist
Mesothorax with distinct markings, antennae light.
With a dark bar on interocular area, fig. 12-Nodita floridana
With two dark spots on interocular area, fig. 18-Nodita
Small species without a dark spot on front wing.
With a pale yellow longitudinal stripe on abdomen.
Antennae and last segment of palpi dark, fig. 14-Chrysopa plora-
Antennae and last segment of palpi light, fig. 9-Chrysopa inter-
Without a pale yellow longitudinal stripe on abdomen.
Interocular area behind antennae mainly pink, fig. 6-Chry-
sopa sp. (undetermined).
Interocular area behind antennae mainly green, fig. 4-Chry-
sopa cubana Hagen.
First segment of antennae with one dark stripe, fig. 1-
Chrysopa bimaculata McClendon.
First segment of antennae with two dark stripes, fig. 3-
Chrysopa bicarnea Banks.
Larvae (3rd Instar)
Naked larvae, first thoracic scoli short and indistinct, aphis lions.
Head striped from mandibles to prothorax, fig. 10-Chrysopa inter-
Head not distinctly striped, fig. 13-Chrysopa plorabunda Fitch.
Trash-bearing larvae, first thoracic scoli elongate and distinct, trash bugs.
First thoracic scoli very long, extending forward beyond front mar-
gin of head.
Head markings extensive, head mainly dark, fig. 15-Nodita
Head markings restricted, head mainly light, fig. 17-Nodita
First thoracic scoli long, extending forward to eye line.
Maxillary palpi dark at tips, fig. 5-Chrysopa sp. (undeter-
Maxillary palpi light at tips, fig. 2-Chrysopa bimaculata.
First thoracic scoli short, head markings transverse, fig. 7-Chry-
sopa cubana Hagen.
Allochrysa virginica (Fitch)
Chrysopa virginica Fitch, 1856, First Rept. Ins. N. Y., p. 91.
The adult of this large, handsome species is easily separated from
all other green lacewings found on citrus in Florida by the presence of
Vol. 42, No. 1
Muma: Chrysopidae Associated with Citrus in Florida 23
two dusky spots on each forewing and the unusual mesothoracic markings
shown in figure 8. Larvae have not been obtained or identified as yet.
To date only one specimen has been taken from citrus and nothing
is known of its life cycle or food habits.
FLORIDA DSITRIBUTION: Bartow, September, 1956, one specimen.
Chrysopa bicarnea Banks
Chrysopa bicarnea Banks, 1920, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 64: 338-339.
Only two specimens of this species have been taken from citrus. It
is possible that they were accidental occurrences. Adults seem to be very
closely related to bimaculata. This species has the sub-lateral prothoracic
markings very pale and further removed from the margin of the prothorax
and the two stripes on the basal segments of the antennae extend some
distance onto the surface of the head (figure 3). Larvae are unknown and
the food habits and life cycle have not been determined.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: Both specimens of this species were collected
from the West Coast citrus area, one from Rubonia, the other from
Chrysopa bimaculata McClendon
Figured 1 and 2.
Chrysopa bimaculata McClendon, 1901, Psyche 9: 215.
Adults of this species are readily distinguished from other green lace-
wings found on citrus by the presence of a pair of light to deep red, sub-
lateral, prothoracic stripes and pale yellow antennae bearing a single
narrow, lateral red stripe on the basal segment (figure 1). Adults have
a quick darting flight when disturbed. The eggs are a green to yellow
white in color when laid. Larvae are trash-bearers and are easily con-
fused with those of Chrysopa sp. (undetermined), but may be separated
by the distally pale labial palpi and less distinct or extensive caudal head
blotches (figure 2). Larvae have an extremely erratic, jerky, walking
gait and are found primarily on the leaves and fruit.
The life cycle of bimaculata has been studied in the laboratory at 80'
F. utilizing two different hosts as food. On Florida red scale, Chrysompha-
lus aonidum (L.), four of six larvae completed development to the adult
stage in a maximum of 37 days and a minimum of 31 days. None of the
adults survived beyond the first day. On six-spotted mites, Eotetranychus
sexmaculatus (Riley), five of five larvae completed development to the
adult stage in a maximum of 35 days and a minimum of 30 days. Adults
survived on honey and water from one to three days. At 700 F. only four
out of 16 larvae developed to pupation on a diet of cloudy-winged white-
flies, Dialeurodes citrifolii (Morg.), in a maximum of 50 days and a mini-
mum of 27 days with none surviving to emerge. Additional studies must
be conducted before the preferred host can be determined.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: This species seems to occur throughout the
citrus belt. More than thirty specimens are in the collection; each major
citrus growing area is represented.
The Florida Entomologist
Plate I. Dorsal view of head and thorax of adult; fig. 1, Chrysopa
bimaculata McClendon; fig. 3, Chrysopa bicarnea Banks; fig. 4, Chrysopa
cubana Hagen; fig. 6, Chrysopa sp. (undetermined); fig. 8, Allochrysa vir-
ginica (Fitch). Dorsal view of head of third instar larva; fig. 2, Chry-
sopa bimaculata McClendon; fig. 5, Chrysopa sp. (undetermined); fig. 7,
Chrysopa cubana Hagen.
Vol. 42, No. 1
Muma: Chrysopidae Associated with Citrus in Florida 25
Chrysopa cubana Hagen
Figures 4 and 7.
Chrysopa cubana Hagen, 1861, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 4: 215.
This species is the most common green lacewing found on citrus in
the state. Adults are characterized by the presence of a pair of deep
red to maroon, sub-lateral, prothoracic stripes, dark brown to black antennae
that become lighter toward the distal end and one or two dark red sub-
lateral stripes on the basal segment of the antennae (figure 4). Adults
have a clumsy, fluttering flight when disturbed. The eggs are a light pearl
grey when deposited. Larvae are trash-bearers and are distinctive, having
all of the head markings extending transversely rather than longitudinally
(figure 7). There are three dark transverse bars; one, somewhat curved,
near the anterior margin of the head; a second, V-shaped, near the middle;
the third, also V-shaped, with the basal part usually hidden by the pro-
thorax. Larvae have a relatively smooth but erratic walking gait and
are found primarily on leaves and fruit.
Laboratory life cycle and food-preference studies have been partially
reported by Muma (1957). Although the species will feed and develop on
several different food hosts, the most rapid development and more vigorous
adults are produced on a restricted diet of Florida red scale and six-
spotted mites. On these foods life cycles are completed in 32 and 30 days
respectively resulting in large, active adults. Mites and armored scales
were hosts used in the studies but soft-scales and mealybugs will have to
be checked before the study can be considered complete, even for citrus
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: This common green lacewing is distributed
throughout the citrus growing areas of the state. Over 100 specimens are
in the collection.
Chrysopa interrupt Schneider
Figures 9, 10, and 11.
Chrysopa interrupt Schneider, 1851, Mon. Chrysopae, p. 76.
In certain groves this species rivals cubana as the most common spe-
cies. Adults are readily identified by red genae, red post-ocular spots,
pale antennae and a median, white to yellow stripe that extends the entire
length of the body (figure 9). Four specimens collected in the late fall
and early winter have had pink blotches on the head and prothorax as
shown in figure 11. Adults have a quick, darting flight when disturbed.
The eggs are light, yellow-green in color. Larvae are naked aphis lions
characterized by a pair of dark convergent head stripes (figure 10). They
have a quick, flowing, undulate walking gait and to date have been found
only on leaves and fruit.
Under laboratory conditions at 800 F. interrupt completes a life-cycle
on Florida red scale in a maximum of 39 days and a minimum of 14 days.
At 62 F. the maximum is 99 days and the minimum is 63 days. Larvae
have been observed feeding in aphid and six-spotted mite colonies but the
life cycle on these hosts has not been determined.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: This common species is represented by more
than 50 specimens in the collection. It is found throughout the citrus grow-
The Florida Entomologist
Chrysopa plorabunda Fitch
Figures 13 and 14.
Chrysopa plorabunda Fitch, 1856, First Rpt. Ins. N. Y., p. 88.
This species is easily confused with interrupta in the adult stage. It
can be distinguished by the dusky antennae, pink spotted prothorax and
light median stripe that does not extend anteriorly beyond the prothorax
(figure 14). The eggs are yellow-green when laid. Larvae are naked aphis
lions with the head distinctively marked with dusky spots and bars as
shown in figure 13. They are more slender and move more rapidly than
larvae of interrupta.
The life cycle has not been determined although larvae have been reared
to the third instar on Florida red scale. Biological information available
from literature indicates that the species feeds on mealybugs (DeBach and
Fleschner, 1947), red spiders (DeBach and Fleschner, 1950), aphids (Da-
vidson, 1914), and thrips (Essig, 1920). Putnam (1932) obtained an aver-
age life cycle of 31 days for the species when fed on oriental fruit moth
eggs under insectary conditions.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: Three specimens of this species are in the
collection; one is from Lake Alfred, March 18, 1953, "and two are from
Weirsdale, December 20, 1956.
Chrysopa ruflabris Burmeister
Chrysopa rufilabris Burmeister, 1839, Handbuch der Entomologie 2: 979.
One female of the species was collected at a light in a citrus grove in
1953 and one larva was reared, but it is not known whether the species
.lives on citrus trees or on weed plants under the trees.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: Lake Alfred, one specimen, March 18, 1953.
Chrysopa sp. (Undetermined)
Figures 5 and 6.
Adults of this lacewing are easily confused with those of cubana. This
species may be identified by the pink color of the basal segments of the
antennae which extends across the interocular area at the level of the
antennae (figure 6). Adults have the same clumsy flight as cubana. Eggs
of the species are light grey in color. Larvae are easily confused with
those of bimaculata, but may be separated by the dark terminal segment
of the labial palpi and darker, more extensive head blotches (figure 5).
Larvae have the same jerky, erratic walking gait as bimaculata but most
specimens have been found on limbs and trunks.
The life cycle of the species has been determined on Florida red scale.
Development is completed in 25 to 28 days at laboratory temperatures.
Nothing is known concerning food habits or preference of the species.
Adults of this species have been identified as Chrysopa cubana var.
sanchezi Navas by Dr. William E. Bickley of the University of Maryland.
Differences in head and thoracic color patterns and in behavior between
larvae of this species and those of C. cubana Hagen have prompted its
placement here in an undetermined status for the present. An attempt
is presently being made to obtain a series of males of cubana and of this
Vol. 42, No. I
Muma: Chrysopidae Associated with Citrus in Florida
16 T1 18
Plate II. Dorsal view of head and thorax of adult; fig. 9, Chrysopa
interrupta Schneider, typical form: fig. 11, Chrysopa interrupta Schneider,
variant; fig. 12, Nodita floridana (Banks); fig. 14, Chrysopa plorabunda
Fitch; fig. 16, Nodita pavida (Hagen); fig. 18, Nodita callota (Banks).
Dorsal view of head of third instar larva; fig. 10, Chrysopa interrupt
Schneider; fig. 13, Chrysopa plorabunda Fitch; fig. 15, Nodita floridana
(Banks); fig. 17, Nodita pavida (Hagen).
The Florida Entomologist
species for a systematic morphologic study of genitalia which may indi-
cate its proper relationship with other species of the genus.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: The species appears to be principally southern
in distribution. Most of the 20 specimens in the collection are from south-
ern citrus areas with the most northern being taken at St. Leo on No-
vember 31, 1956.
Nodita callota (Banks)
Leucochrysa callota Banks, 1914, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 66: 626.
Four adult specimens of this species have been taken from citrus trees.
Adults are readily identified by the spotted-type of markings illustrated in
figure 18. Larvae have not been collected or reared to determine the food
habit or life cycle.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: The four specimens in the collection are from
central and southern citrus growing areas. Two are from Rubonia, Janu-
ary 16, 1956, one from Lake Placid, October 8, 1956, and one from Haines
City, September 28, 1956.
Nodita floridana (Banks)
Figures 12 and 15.
Leucochrysa floridana Banks, 1897, Ent. News 8: 184.
In the adult stage this species is found more commonly on citrus than
any other member of the genus. Larvae, however, have not been found
on citrus trees to date. Adults are readily identified by the pale antennae,
the basal segment of which is marked with two red to brown longitudinal
stripes and a thin red to brown, transverse, interocular bar (figure 12).
Adults have the same clumsy, fluttering flight as C. cubana Hagen but may
be distinguished by their larger size. Larvae have head markings reminis-
cent of those of C. bimaculata and Chrysopa sp. (undetermined) but the
pattern is much more extensive, causing the head to be almost entirely
dusky (figure 15). Because of the long, forward-projecting, prothoracic
scoli, the head of the larva is usually hidden beneath the trash packet.
The life cycle of the species has been investigated in the laboratory
utilizing Florida red scale as larval food. A minimum of 56 days was
required for complete development from egg to adult. It is felt that this
probably is not a typical life cycle as nothing is known of the food habits
of the species.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: This species appears to be southern in dis-
tribution. All of the more than 20 specimens in the collection were taken
from Polk County southward.
Nodita pavida (Hagen)
Figures 16 and 17.
Chrysopa pavida Hagen, 1861, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 4: 216.
This species, in the larval stage, is the most common member of the
genus found on citrus. Adults, on the other hand, are comparatively rare
and only two specimens have been collected under grove conditions. Adults
are easily confused with C. cubana from which they may be distinguished
Vol. 42, No. 1
Muma: Chrysopidae Associated with Citrus in Florida 29
by their larger size, dark pterostigma of the wings and darker prothoracic
and antennal markings (figure 16). Larvae are trash-bearers with a
smooth running gait, "play possum" when disturbed, and are found on
limbs and trunks. They are readily identified by the long, sub-parallel,
prothoracic scoli which cause the packet to completely hide the head and
the distinctive head markings shown in figure 17.
Because of the rarity of adults it has been impossible to obtain data
on the life cycle of this species. Further, most efforts to rear larvae under
laboratory conditions have failed owing, it is believed, to a lack of knowl-
edge concerning food habits. On several occasions late instar larvae have
pupated and produced adults, but from the only set of eggs obtained all
but one larva died before pupation and it failed to emerge. Florida red
scale was used as food in this case.
FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION: This seems to be a southern species. The ten
or more specimens in the collection have been taken from the southern
and central citrus areas.
Bickley, William E., and Ellis G. MacLeod. 1956. A synopsis of the
Nearctic Chrysopidae with a key to the genera. Ent. Soc. Wash.,
Proc. 58(4): 177-202.
DeBach, Paul, and C. A. Fleschner. 1947. Biological control of the long-
tailed mealybug. Calif. Citrograph, 33(1): 22-23.
DeBach, Paul, C. A. Fleschner, and E. J. Dietrick. 1950. Studies on the
efficacy of natural eriemies of the citrus red mite in Southern Cali-
fornia. Jour. Econ. Ent., 43(6): 807-819.
Davidson, W. M. 1914. Walnut aphides in California. U. S. Bur. Agric.,
Bull. 100, 48 pp.
Essig, E. 0. 1920. The pear thrips. Univ. Calif. Agric. Exp. Sta. Circ.
223, 9 pp.
Hubbard, H. G. 1885. Insects affecting the orange. U.S.D.A., Div. of
Ent. (Author's Edition). 227 pp.
Miller, R. L. 1929. The biology and control of the green citrus aphid.
Univ. Fla. Agric. Exp. Sta. Tech. Bull. 203: 431-476.
Muma, Martin H. 1957. Effects of larval nutrition on the life cycle, size,
coloration, and longevity of Chrysopa lateralis Guer. Fla. Ent.
Putnam, W. L. 1932. Chrysopids as a factor in the natural control of
the oriental fruit moth. Can. Ent. 54(6): 121-126.
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RUBUnited States Rubber
Naugatuck Chemical Division
MITE CONTROL IN REDWORM BEDS
WILLIAM B. TAPPAN 2
North Florida Experiment Station, Quincy
Redworm production during 1956 was reduced considerably by heavy
populations of mites in commercial beds. Some worm growers experienced
losses of production ranging from 80 to 100 per cent. At this time the
exact method by which these mites inflict damage is not fully understood.
Hyche 3 suggested that some species are predaceous and may attack the
worms, while others probably compete with the worms for available food.
However, worm growers in the Quincy area consider mites harmful to the
Previous tests conducted by Hyche (1956) showed that malathion, para-
thion, and Metacide effectively reduced mite populations seven days after
treatment, whereas Aramite had little or no effect. Malathion at all con-
centrations and parathion and Metacide at high concentrations significantly
reduced worm populations, but Aramite did not reduce the number of
worms. These tests indicated that parathion could be used at low concen-
trations (360 p.p.m.) with no harmful effects to the worms.
In 1956 a test was conducted to study the effects of three acaricides and
one insecticide on the control of mites in redworm beds; to make general
observations of the effects of treatments on the worms; and to determine
the species of mites present.
A wooden frame, 15 x 15 x 7 feet, housed all test beds. The frame was
covered on the top and south side with two thicknesses of tobacco shade
cloth, which gave protection from heavy rains and the hot sun. The other
three sides remained open, but the west side was protected by an adjacent
wooden building. Wooden cube-shaped boxes of one cubic foot capacity
contained the test beds. The bottoms of the boxes were not water tight,
thus providing adequate drainage.
The bed medium was made from compost consisting of horse manure
and crushed corn and cobs. The compost was allowed to decompose for
eight weeks, and was turned and mixed at intervals until the internal tem-
perature had dropped below 60 F. Fifty-one boxes were filled with me-
dium to a depth of 10 inches. One quart of mite-infested medium from
a commercial bed was added and mixed thoroughly into the beds, but the
number of mites added to each bed was not necessarily the same. Ten
adult redworms were placed in each bed. Two thicknesses of burlap were
placed over the surface to reduce loss of bed moisture. No provision was
made to confine either the worms or mites to the beds. Worm food in the
1 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 749.
2 The writer wishes to express sincere appreciation for the aid given by
Drs. P. W. Oman and Edward W. Baker of the Insect Identification and
Parasite Introduction Section, Entomology Research Branch, U. S. De-
partment of Agriculture for identification of Collembola and mites and
notes on the habits of the mites.
SHyche, L. L. 1956. Control of mites infesting earthworm beds. Jour.
Econ. Ent. 49(3): 409-410.
32 The Florida Entomologist Vol. 42, No. 1
form of poultry laying mash was scattered over the surface of the medium
at 7-day intervals. The worms were allowed to reproduce for twelve weeks
before treatments were applied.
Four treatments at four levels of concentration and a check treated
with only well water were replicated three times. Materials tested were
parathion, tedion, Niagara 1240, and thiodan. All treatments were ap-
plied as sprays made from 25 per cent wettable powder, except parathion
made from 15 per cent wettable powder. Well water was used in each
The bed medium was wet thoroughly through the burlap covering with
well water one hour before treatment. The water caused the mites to
congregate at the surface. The burlap was removed and the test materials
were applied at the rate of one gallon per 16 square feet of bed surface.
Two Belknap plunger-type atomizing hand sprayers were used to make
all applications. Each sprayer was rinsed thoroughly in well water before
A pre-application count was made four days before treatment. Succeed-
ing counts were made at 2-, 7-, and 14-day intervals after treatment. The
beds were watered before each count, except the 7-day count, when beds
were moist from rainfall. The surface medium was mixed thoroughly to
a depth of approximately two inches and a one-cubic-inch sample was re-
moved for counting. Each sample was placed on white paper and dis-
persed with dissecting needles. At each count observations were made to
determine whether any worms were dead in or near the surface two inches,
and whether live worms were present below that level. Also, notes were
taken on the activity of Collembola in the surface layer.
One commercial bed was sampled to determine the distribution of mites
at various depth levels. The bed sampled was five inches deep, and was
covered with galvanized iron over two thicknesses of burlap. The iron
and burlap were removed and one-half of the bed was watered. The cov-
erings were replaced and two hours elapsed before sampling. One-cubic-
inch samples were taken from each inch of bed depth at three random
locations in each half of the bed. Mite counts were made as stated pre-
As shown in Table 1, all treatments gave a significant reduction of
mites two days following application. Parathion showed excellent control
throughout the test, while Niagara 1240, thiodan, and tedion were less
effective. Dead worms were observed on beds treated with 400 p.p.m.
thiodan as early as two days after application. Seven days following ap-
plication, all concentrations of thiodan were killing the worms. Observa-
tions showed that dead worms were present only in the top two inches of
the beds. Below that level there seemed to be no detrimental effect from
the thiodan treatments. All other treatments apparently had no effect
on the worms. It should be noted here that none of the treatments showed
any effect on Collembola, Lepidocyrtus sp., which were present in great
Four species of mites were collected from the test beds. The most
numerous were two species of Macrocheles spp., belonging to the family
Macrochelidae. The other two species were Fuscuropoda agitans (Banks)
Tappan: Mite Control in Redworm Beds
and Fuscuropoda marginata (Koch), family Uropodidae. F. agitans was
identified as the mite damaging redworm beds by eating the worms' food.
F. marginata, however, is a predator of F. agitans, which may account for
the reduction of mite population in the check. The relationship of Ma-
crocheles spp. to the bed complex is not understood. Some members of that
genus have been reported to be predators of flies and perhaps other in-
TABLE 1. NUMBERS OF LIVE MITES BEFORE TREATMENT AND PER CENT
REMAINING AFTER TREATMENT IN THE SURFACE TWO INCHES OF REDWORM
BEDS AT QUINCY, FLORIDA, 1956.
Live Mites per Cubic Inch (Average of
Before Per Cent Remaining
Treatments Concentration Treatment After Treatment
(p.p.m.) 4 days 2 days 7 days 14 days
Parathion 50 56 0** 0** 0**
100 59 2** 0** 0**
200 26 0** 0** 0**
400 67 2** 0** 0**
Niagara 1240 50 29 18** 89 57
100 61 6** 12** 13*
200 40 10** 12** 13*
400 26 34** 37* 18*
Thiodan 50 55 28** 53 71
100 66 55** 59 17*
200 44 15** 14** 21*
400 21 17** 18** 2**
Tedion 50 30 56* 118 87
100 32 19** 93 91
200 55 13** 40* 27*
400 20 4** 58 60
Check Untreated 54 104 105 92
L. S. D. at 5% level 43 55 62
at 1% level 57 74 83
Reduction significant at 5% level.
** Reduction significant at 1% level.
Results of mite distribution counts from one commercial bed are shown
in Table 2. Moisture was directly related to mite distribution. The mite
population decreased as the depth of the bed increased, due to the increased
moisture content at the lower depths. Wetting before counting caused
The Florida Entomologist
the mites to come to the surface. This technique was so successful that
large numbers of mites left the bed and gathered in the dry burlap cov-
ering. However, 85 per cent of the mites found in the wet half of the
bed were in the top two-inch layer. Counts in the portion of the bed re-
ceiving no water showed that 86 per cent of the mites found were in the
surface two-inch layer.
TABLE 2. DISTRIBUTION OF LIVE MITES IN A COMMERCIAL BED AT VARIOUS
DEPTH LEVELS. QUINCY, FLORIDA, 1958.
Live Mites Percentage of Mites
Depth Level per Cubic Inch at Each Level
of Sample (Ave. of three (Ave. of three
Treatment (Inches) replicates) replicates)
Watered 2 hours
before sampling 0-1 17 64
1-2 6 21
2-3 2 10
3-4 1 5
4-5 0 0
Untreated 0-1 62 72
1-2 11 14
2-3 6 7
3-4 4 5
4-5 1 2
A test was conducted to (1) study the effects of three acaricides and
one insecticide on the control of mites in redworm beds; (2) make general
observations of the effects of treatments on the worms present; and (3)
determine the species of mites infesting the test beds. Also, counts were
made to determine the distribution of mites infesting a commercial bed.
Various concentrations of parathion, Niagara 1240, thiodan, and tedion
were tested at the rate of one gallon per 16 square feet of bed surface.
All materials effectively reduced mite populations two days after appli-
cation. Parathion alone remained effective at all concentrations 14 days
following application. Niagara 1240, thiodan, and tedion were less effec-
tive. Thiodan was the only material which was toxic to the worms. None
of the materials controlled Collembola that were present.
Four species of mites were collected from the test beds. Two species
of the genus Macrocheles were the most numerous. Fuscuropoda agitans
(Banks), which was present in lesser numbers, was identified as the mite
causing damage by eating the worms' food.
Mites in a commercial bed were found in great numbers near the sur-
face. Few to none were found at the bottom of the bed. When the bed
was watered, the mites congregated in the surface two inches and dry bur-
lap covering the bed.
Vol. 42, No. 1
BIOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON
MYDAS MACULIVENTRIS WESTWOOD (DIPTERA:
MYDAIDAE) AS A PREDATOR OF WHITE GRUBS1
WILLIAM G. GENUNG 2
Very little is known concerning the life histories and habits of flies
of the family Mydaidae. A perusal of the various indices and reviews
shows that the literature is not extensive. Curran (1934) stated that
probably larvae of all species live in rotten wood. Clausen (1940) reported
that larvae of some species live in rotten wood and feed on coleopterous
larvae in that environment. Howard (1903) mentioned several species as
predators of insect larvae in wood and further mentioned that adults of
several species are mimics of various wasps. Comstock (1949) reflected
the general lack of knowledge on the habits of these flies by stating that
"the larvae of some species at least live in decaying wood. . ". Essig
(1942) stated succinctly that little is known concerning the biology of these
flies. Several authors mention that some species live in rotten wood, but
none appears to have reported members of this family as being of sub-
terranean habits. C. W. Johnson has listed several Florida species (1913)
and has contributed a partial revision (1926) of the North American species
of the family. According to most authors the Mydaidae are largely tropi-
cal in their distribution.
The adult flies are known predators of various insects. It would appear
from a search of the literature that any careful observations would be a
contribution to our knowledge of the biology nd habits of these diptera.
The present paper is an effort toward that end.
In October and November, 1953, larvae of Scarabaeidae were observed
in considerable numbers under garden sod at Lake Worth, Florida. Associ-
ated with these grubs were large dipterous larvae that the writer tenta-
tively identified at the time as probably maggots of the related family
Asilidae, known predators (Sweetman, 1936) of Phyllophaga and related
scarab genera. The maggots were obviously predatory upon the grubs.
The sod under which this fauna occurred was composed of crabgrass,
Digitaria sanguinalis L.; broad-leaved carpet grass, Axonopus furcatus
(Fugge); Bermuda grass, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.; and St. Augustine
grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze. There were scattered
plants of goose grass, Elusine indica Gaertn; smut grass, Sporobolus
poirettii (Roem. and Schult.) Hitchc.; and on the higher spots Natal grass,
Rhynechelytrum roseum (Nees.) Staff Hubb. The area was partly shaded
by some royal poinciana trees, Delonix regia (Boj.) Raf., and silk trees,
Albizzia julibrissin (Willed.) Durazz.
Several of the predatory maggots were confined for observation in soil
with the host insects. The host grubs were killed rather slowly over a
period of two or three days, apparently by having their body fluids with-
drawn by the maggots until the host was reduced to a shrivelled skin.
1 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 779.
2 Associate Entomologist, University of Florida, Everglades Experiment
Station, Belle Glade, Florida.
The Florida Entomologist
Several of the maggots were taken to the Everglades Experiment
Station on November 5, 1953, for rearing. They were placed in jars fitted
with screen wire lids, partly filled with soil from the collection site, and
periodically supplied with larvae of phytophagous scarabs. Since earth-
worms were quite plentiful in the moister and more fertile portion of
the collection area, one larva was supplied only these worms for food
after the second feeding. Soil moisture in the containers was maintained
at a moderate level, avoiding both excessive aridity and saturation. The
level maintained was approximately equivalent to that in the collection
area at time of collection.
Since maggots of several stages were present, only those that appeared
more mature, about one inch in length, were collected for rearing. How-
ever, pupation of three individuals did not occur until August 24 of the
following year, and emergence of the imagoes about three weeks later on
September 21, 1954. Another maggot had pupated by September 5 and
emerged by September 30. One maggot failed to complete its development.
Thus it would appear that the life cycle may require at least two years.
The larva supplied with earthworms also completed its development, al-
though in the latter instance the host was not killed by feeding of the
maggots. The adult flies that emerged were recognized as belonging to
the Mydaidae, not Asilidae as at first suspected. Specimens were sent to
Dr. H. V. Weems of the Florida State Plant Board for determination.
He identified the material as Mydas maculiventris Westwood, and subse-
quently had his determinations confirmed by W. W. Wirth of the U. S.
National Museum. A few adult flies of this species have been observed
annually during August, September and early October since the above
determination was made, and were of frequent occurrence in the vicinity
of the 1953 collection in the late summer of 1955.
Johnson (1926) gives M. incisus Macq., M. pachygaster Westw. and
M. parvulus Westw. as synonyms of M. maculiventris. In the earlier paper
(1913) he reported M. maculeventris from Florida under these synonyms.
According to Johnson male dimorphism in the species has contributed to
this confusion. While Johnson (1926) gave M. incisus as an absolute
synonym in the text of his paper, he listed it as a variety of M. maculiven-
tris in the key to species. All of Johnson's specimens were collected near
St. Augustine between 1880 and 1888.
Adult females of M. maculiventris have been observed in August and
September alighting on the sod surface and bending the abdomen down-
ward and forward, probably to oviposit, although search did not reveal
In view of the fact that the larval habitat of Mydaidae is generally
reported to be rotten wood, it is interesting to note that the larva of
Mydas maculiventris, at least, is a soil inhabiting form predatory upon
the larvae of phytophagous scarabs and have been observed on sandy soils
with a relatively low organic content. This mydaid was observed in the
Lake Worth area in numbers sufficient to indicate that, if the species were
widely distributed in sod land areas, possibly the maggots would be of
importance in helping to prevent development of serious white grub in-
festations. However, this mydaid probably is not generally common
enough to be of much economic value.
Vol. 42, No. 1
Genung: Observations on Mydas maculiventris
The soil from which the maggots were collected was a very gently
sloping, well drained to moderately drained Arzell or Davie fine sand.
Only the lower end contained considerable organic content. This mydaid
has not been observed on the organic soils, although larvae of Cyclocephala
borealis Arrow, a probable host, constitute a conspicuous element of the
soil fauna on much of these sod and pasture lands. The genus Phyllophaga
must be extremely rare if it exists at all on the Everglades sawgrass peat
and muck soils, except possibly where these lie adjacent to the mineral
soils. Scarcity of suitable adult hosts in these areas may account for
Phyllophaga scarcity. During a decade spent in the area the writer has
not seen adult emergence of Phyllophaga on the organic soils. Species of
Phyllophaga do occur commonly on certain adjacent sandy lands, and
emergence of both Phyllophaga and Cyclocephala have been observed at
the site of the 1953 collection of M. maculiventris.
Since scarab larvae other than Phyllophaga are quite plentiful and
are occasionally economic pests on the organic soils of the Everglades,
some soil factor may account for the apparent lack of these predatory
Diptera in the Everglades.
Clausen, Curtis P. 1940. Entomophagous insects. McGraw-Hill Book
Co., Inc. New York.
Comstock, John Henry. 1949. An introduction to entomology. 9th Ed.
Comstock Pub. Co., Ithaca, New York.
Curran, C. H. 1934. The families and genera of North American Dip-
tera. Ballou Press, New York.
Essig, E. 0. 1942. College entomology. MacMillan Co., New York.
Howard, Leland 0. 1903. The insect book. Doubleday, Page and Co.,
Johnson, C. W. 1913. Insects of Florida. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.
XXXII, Art. III: 37-90.
Johnson, C. W. 1926, A revision of some of the North American species
of Mydaidae. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. pp. 131-143.
Sweetman, Harvey L. 1936. The biological control of insects. Comstock
Pub. Co. New York.
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NOTES ON THE SYNTOMID MOTH LYMIRE EDWARDSI
(GROTE) AND ITS CONTROL AS A PEST OF
FICUS IN SOUTH FLORIDA 1
WILLIAM G. GENUNG 2
Larvae of the syntomid moth, Lymire edwardsi (Grote), occasionally
are injurious to species of Ficus in south Florida. These are important
ornamental and shade trees in this section. In exceptional cases some
trees may be defoliated by the feeding of these caterpillars. During the
summer of 1958 extensive damage by this insect was observed in Palm
Beach County. Serious to complete defoliation was noted in West Palm
Beach, Palm Beach, Lake Worth and at various points along the highways
in Palm Beach County and adjacent counties. The 1958 infestation has
been the most general and injurious that the writer has observed in ten
years in the area. While Ficus on the coastal areas seemed to sustain
the most injury, defoliation was observed also in the Everglades section.
In addition to damage to the trees, the species may be considered a
household nuisance since the pre-pupae seem to prefer the walls of build-
ings for pupation, if available, to any other site. As many as 35 pupae,
pre-pupae and abandoned cocoons and pupal cases have been counted per
square foot on the sides of buildings. In such situations they detract from
the appearance of the property.
NOTES ON THE STAGES
Egg: The eggs are pale, probably partially translucent and hemispherical
Sin shape. Apparently fresh eggs required five days for incubation in
July. All eggs observed were deposited singly on the underside of the
Larva: Newly hatched larvae are pale or cream colored with dark, well-
spaced hairs. If touched, these young larvae can flip a considerable dis-
tance. Judging from the appearance of the chorion, newly emerged larvae
feed on the egg shell. Subsequent instars develop more abundant and
downier rufous hairs. The advanced larvae are whitish to cream colored.
A darker group of hairs rises like a tuft from the thorax. Older larvae,
if touched, may descend to the ground by suspension threads or may flip
from the leaf. Larvae are heavy feeders and falling excrement under
heavily infested trees sounds like a light sprinkle of rain. Holland 3 men-
tioned that Dyar observed and reported on the larval stages.
Pupa: Pupation occurs beneath a thin, silken cocoon flat against a tree,
wall or other object. The cocoon is covered with the larval hairs. Pre-
pupae may move to a pupation site a day or two prior to pupation.
Adult: The imago is an attractive bluish grey to purplish grey moth with
the abdomen blue dorsally and white ventrally. The thorax is ornge-red
1 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 780.
2 Associate Entomologist, University of Florida, Everglades Experiment
Station, Belle Glade, Florida.
SHolland, W. J. 1913. The moth book. Doubleday, Page and Co., New
The Florida Entomologist
ventrally. The cervix and humeral area are also orange-red. The antennae
are blue and are plumose in form. The body is somewhat waspish in
shape as is common with most Syntomidae. The adult moth depicted in
Holland's plate XIII, fig. 11, appears to be discolored or faded. The moths
are sluggish and can be captured by hand.
Type of Damage: Very young larvae eat partly through the leaf. Older
larvae eat irregular areas completely through the leaf, but feed mostly
from the margins. Under usual infestations a considerable amount of
the foliage may show some chewing injury and control in some of these
cases may be desirable depending on the location and use of the tree.
When complete defoliation of valuable ornamentals and shade trees is
threatened, control is most desirable. After defoliation has occurred, larvae
have been observed chewing on buds and ends of twigs. Defoliated trees
may be more susceptible to attacks of various wood borers. Ends of twigs
have been observed to die after defoliation. Certainly the tree in such
cases suffers a loss in vitality.
Parasites: Two species of the family Chalcididae have been observed
attacking the pupae. Specimens reared for determination were identified
by Dr. H. V. Weems of the Florida State Plant Board as Brachymeria
robusta (Cresson) and Brachymeria ovata (Say). The former species was
considerably more numerous than B. ovata. In addition to these wasps,
a larvaevorid fly, tentatively identified by Weems as Achaetoneura aletiae
(Riley), was reared from the pupae. The chalcids were quite selective
regarding the host. Many ITupae were examined by the wasps and re-
jected before they found suitable material. After a host was selected,
the chalcids would settle on the pupa for several minutes before seeking
additional material. Two or three chalcids working on the wall of a build-
ing were observed to examine over 200 pupae in a half-hour period. Those
pupae rejected by the wasps may have been previously parasitized or per-
haps were of too advanced age to be suitable. Total percent parasitization
of pupae based on collected material ranged from zero in pupae collected
on June 15 to 89.2 percent in pupae collected on July 15. The percent
parasitization by the various species involved on the different dates is
shown in Table 1. In some instances pupae produced neither parasites nor
moths. This mortality is attributed in part to fungus disease and in part
to the large number of larvae forced into early pupation through starva-
Egg parasites were attacking 40 percent of the eggs by the middle of
July near Lake Worth. These parasites were determined by Dr. C. F. W.
Muesebeck to be Telenomus sp. (Family Scelionidae).
Predators: Three species of Pentatomidae were found to be predatory
upon these larvae. A single nymph of Euthrynchus floridanus (L.) was
observed feeding on the species. Adults of Podisus maculiventris (Say)
and P. mucronatus Uhler were more abundant. A crossmating pair of the
two latter species were observed feeding on the caterpillars. Identifica-
tions were made by the author.
The only bird actually observed feeding on L. edwardsi was the southern
meadow lark, Sturnella magna argutula (Bangs). It was observed to
approach a wall from a distance of 35 feet, and then flutter upward and
Vol. 42, No. 1
Genung: Notes on the Syntomid Moth in South Florida 41
pull several pre-pupae from the building. Additional probable feedings by
larks were observed under a heavily infested Ficus tree.
TABLE 1. PERCENTAGE PARASITIZATION OF PUPAE OF Lymire edwardsi
(GROTE) AND EMERGENCE OF ADULT MOTHS, PALM BEACH COUNTY, 1958.
No. of Collection Percentage moths neither moths
pupae date parasitized by emerged nor parasites
21 6/15/58 B. robusta- 0
B. ovata 0
A. aletiae 0
Total...........--- 0 100 0
67 7/1/58 B. robusta-56.7
B. ovata 6.0
A. aletiae 1.5
Total............ 64.2 19.4 16.4
58 7/15/58 B. robusta-87.8
B. Cvata 0.0
A. aletiae 1.7
Total............ 89.5 1.7 8.8
16 8/1/58 B. robusta-12.5
B. ovata 0.0
A. aletiae 0.0
Total............ 12.5 00.0 87.5
Two of the cheaper and safer chlorinated insecticides were compared
with an untreated check in a small test in order to have some positive infor-
mation on control to answer inquiries of home owners. Toxaphene, 58
percent E. C., and DDT, 25 percent E. C., were applied to three individual
Ficus limbs in each case. The number of larvae per limb exceeded one
hundred. The insecticides were used at one pound technical toxaphene and
one half pound technical DDT per 100 gallons. Enough spray was applied
with a compressed air sprayer to wet thoroughly the foliage and twigs.
Both toxaphene and DDT use resulted in 100 percent knockdown of the
larvae, most of which were dead within 48 hours after application. The
population in the checks remained unaffected.
In regard to the pre-pupae migrating to walls of buildings to pupate,
observations in three instances showed that where the lawn was recently
treated with DDT or other residual insecticide, few larvae were able to sur-
The Florida Entomologist
vive crossing the treated grass. Possibly an insecticide application to
building walls before the pre-pupa could construct its cocoon would have
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
The abnormally destructive appearance of the syntomid moth, Lymire
edwardsi (Grote), in the Palm Beach County area has caused considerable
concern among home owners. Recent tests and observations have indi-
cated that toxaphene and DDT E.C. are highly effective in controlling this
insect. The major difficulty to home owners is treating large trees, as
equipment is usually not at hand to reach beyond a few feet overhead.
The alternative control measure would be to use professional spray services.
Reasons for the exceptionally high populations of the caterpillars in
the summer of 1958 appear to hinge primarily on some biotic imbalance
that permitted the buildup of the exceptional populations. Perhaps the
unusual and continuously cold winter of 1957-58 resulted in reduction of
an effective parasite to very low levels, thus permitting the moths a tem-
porarily unchecked reproduction. As of this writing (July 15) the host
specific larvae will probably die in large numbers, in some instances from
starvation. There is evidence that forced pupation resulted in failure of
many pupae to develop into adult moths.
S PERIOn R
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Pears from 3 days to 1 day with malathion 57% Emulsifi-
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Melons fiable Liquid, malathion 25% Wettable Powder and
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Brambleberry Family from 7 days to 1 day with malathion 57%
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