Official Organ of the Florida Entomological Society
VOL. XXII DECEMBER, 1939 No. 4
AN ANNOTATED LIST OF THE ARTHROPODS FOUND IN
THE BURROWS OF THE FLORIDA GOPHER TORTOISE,
Gopherus polyphemus (Daudin)1
By F. N. YOUNG and C. C. GOFF
The burrows of the Florida gopher tortoise, Gopherus poly-
phemus (Daudin), have preserved, probably since the Ice Age,
an interesting association of animals which has been almost
entirely neglected by ecological investigators. H. G. Hubbard's
original paper (1894), published almost 50 years ago, together
with his short additional note (1896) two years later, remain
practically the only literature dealing directly with the arthro-
pods2 of the biocoenose. The association is in many ways re-
markable, and it seems surprising that it should have been so
long neglected in view of the abundance and rather wide dis-
tribution of the gopher in the southeastern United States. How-
ever, when the difficulty of collecting animals from the burrows
is considered, this neglect becomes much less amazing. Little
is known of the ecological conditions within the burrows, and
further investigations will probably show that the fauna itself
is still very incompletely recorded.
'Contribution from the Department of Biology and the Agricultural
Experiment Station, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Note: During the latter part of 1938, I carried on a short corre-
spondence with Mr. Goff concerning the insects found in the burrows of
the gopher tortoise. At that time he was engaged in a study of this reptile,
and during the course of our correspondence I sent him notes on several
burrows which I had excavated around Miami and Gainesville, Florida.
Mr. Goff's sudden death a few months later prevented him from complet-
ing or correlating the data he had obtained. The present paper is there-
fore an attempt to record the information obtained by both of us and to
summarize the present knowledge of the insects and other arthropods
found in the burrows of the tortoise.-F. N. YOUNG.
'Hallinan (1923) has discussed the mammals, reptiles and amphibians
associated with the burrows around Jacksonville, Florida. His paper also
includes many useful notes on the habits of the tortoise, length of bur-
rows, etc. Although he lists some insects, the species cannot be definitely
placed because he failed to give any scientific names.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Recent investigation3 of the burrows of the rodent, Geomys,
has revealed another biocoenose as remarkable as that discovered
by Hubbard in the tortoise burrow. In places the burrows of
Geomys are to be found side by side with those of Gopherus,
but so far only two species of insects have been found to be
common to both. Each biotope seems to have developed or
acquired its own peculiar species and genera, and, as far as we
know, the true obligates are strictly limited in distribution by
the conditions which have favored their development. Work in
the western United States and in Europe has revealed com-
parable associations in the nests and burrows of several mam-
mals, and there are probably many others of a similar nature
yet to be discovered.
It is interesting to note that a distinctive association of com-
mensals has developed in such a simple habitat as the gopher
burrow. But when we consider the fact that the gopher is a
member of an ancient race which probably reached Florida soon
after the elevation of the Pleistocene, and that the burrowing
habits of the genus were probably established long before, it
would be more noteworthy if no animals had taken advantage
of the available protection and food supply. The open mouth
of the burrow is a blanket invitation to any animals with caver-
nicolous tendencies, and the supply of dung at the bottom is
an added attraction to coprophages. None of the true obligates
as far as we know has been taken outside gopher burrows. Most
of them are apparently found throughout the greater part of the
range of the tortoise, yet no explanation of how they are trans-
ferred from one burrow to another can be offered.
Usually the burrow of the gopher is comparatively simple,
varying in size and depth with the size and age of the individual
inhabiting it. The young tortoise excavates for itself a burrow
just a little larger than the greatest width and depth of its
carapace, and from one to three feet deep. As the carapace
grows the burrow is gradually enlarged until it may reach a
maximum width of a foot or more, and a length varying from
ten to 35 feet. There are frequently turns in the course of the
descent. These do not seem to be a protective or drainage de-
vice, but rather depend on the chance obstruction of the course
by rocks, roots, harder material, etc. The vertical distance from
the surface to the end of the burrow appears to be determined
by the resistance of the underlying material or by the water-
"C. C. Goff and T. H. Hubbell, Manuscript in press.
VOL. XXII-No. 4
table. In the Norfolk series of sands it may be as great as
the depth to the clay (usually from 4 to 12 feet) while in the
Dade sands it is usually the distance to the underlying limestone
(from 3 to 8 feet). Where the water-table is near the surface
the burrow may be quite shallow and very long (as much as
35 or 40 feet).
Although there seems to be no provision for drainage, the
burrows are usually rather dry. Hallinan (1923) observes that
part of the material from the burrow must be pressed radially
into the sides by the tortoise since the volume removed to the
outside is not always sufficient to account for the volume of
the burrow. If this is true then the tightly packed soil may
assist in controlling percolation into the tunnel, and, on the
other hand, would prevent rapid drying out and consequent
collapse of the roof and sides. In several burrows excavated
near Gainesville the sides and floor were found to be quite dry
to a depth of 8 or 9 feet while the roof was damp. Beyond this
depth, however, the floor and sides also became damp. Under
these conditions it is interesting to note that insects were found
burrowing into the roof along the upper part of the tunnel.
Goff noted several cases at or near Gillette, Florida, in which
part of the burrow was below the water-table. In two of these
instances the gopher was found at the end of the burrow com-
pletely submerged beneath the water. Normally, however, it
seems that the tortoise avoids the lower grounds in which the
water-table issubject to fluctuation. In the northern and cen-
tral region of the State it confines its burrows more or less to
the Norfolk sands, while along the east and west coasts the Dade,
Palm Beach, St. Lucie and other loose dune and coastal sands
offer an excellent burrowing medium. Many of the coastal
islands where the soil is suitable have been occupied by the
tortoise, but no investigations of the commensal fauna have
been made in these isolated situations.
The Florida gopher is confined to the southern coastal plain.
According to Stejneger and Barbour (1939) the range is the
"coast from southern South Carolina to Florida and the Missis-
sippi River and north into southern Arkansas". But outside
of Florida the gopher is not commonly encountered. In the
west two other species of the genus are confined to the semi-
desert regions where they are said to burrow, but the ranges
of the three species do not come in contact with each other at
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
any point. An investigation of the commensals of the western
species ought, on that account, to give some indication of the
age of the association, because the present distribution has
apparently existed for some time and any resemblances of the
faunas would have to antedate the present isolation.
The principal method of investigating the inquilines of the
gopher is complete excavation of the burrow. This probably
explains the long neglect of the subject, for the task of digging
out even a single burrow is not easy. Hubbard (1894) described
the size of one of his excavations by saying that a carriage and
horses could easily have been placed in it, and both authors of
the present paper have made quite large pits in tracing out the
course of burrows. In digging, care must be taken not to lose,
wholly or in part, the inhabitants, and the chances of introduc-
ing animals from the surface are very great.
The following list is far from complete, and future work
may even double or triple it. Many of the species listed are
obviously only casual visitants to the burrows; others, although
they are not obligates, form a normal part of the association.
In many cases only further work will indicate whether some
species are casual, normal or obligate commensals. We have
tried to divide the inhabitants of the burrows into five groups
based on food habits or occurrence. One of these groups, casual,
indicates that the animal is not a normal part of the association.
Thus, a casual may be either a scavenger, predator, parasite,
or coprophage without having any normal effect on the food
chains of the association.
Acknowledgments are due to several specialists who have
assisted in the determination of material during the preparation
of this study, especially Mr. O. L. Cartwright, Dr. T. H. Hubbell,
Dr. J. Bequaert, and Dr. H. K. Wallace. Thanks are due many
others for assistance in preparation of this paper and for in-
formation concerning the distribution, habits and taxonomy of
the gopher tortoise.
Thelyphonus giganteus Lucas
Predator: Crescent City, Hubbard (1894: footnote p. 306); De-
Funiak Springs and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-301). Probably enters
the burrows to prey on insects; not confined to them.
*All localities unless otherwise indicated are in Florida.
VOL. XXII-No. 4
Chelanops affinis Banks
Predator: Described from gopher burrows at Crescent City, (Banks,
in Hubbard, 1894: 314). Recorded by Hubbard from DeFuniak Springs
and Clearwater, (1896: 299-301). Confined to the burrows.
Phalangodes n. sp.
Predator: Hubbard indicates this as a new species in his second paper
(1896: 300), but he apparently did not describe it later. Crescent City,
DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-301). Apparently
confined to the burrows of the gopher.
Lycosa rabida Walck.
Casual: Apparently only a casual visitor confined to hiding in the
mouth of burrows during the day. Gainesville, xi.8.39, about six feet
down the burrow, F. N. Young.
Lycosa carolinensis Walck.
Casual: Hides under or in any sort of protected place during the day.
Gainesville, xi.4.39, in mouths of several burrows, F. N. Young.
Casual: A single specimen from Gainesville, xi. 8.39, taken about
7 feet down the burrow was too immature to determine.
(?)Casuals: Hubbard (1896: 299-301) records two species of spiders
from burrows at Crescent City, DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater, but
gives no hint as to family or genus. Many spiders probably stray into
the burrows by chance or use them for hiding places. None of the species
so far recorded seem to be true obligates, but the Lycosid Sosilaus spiniger
is common in the burrows of Geomys and may occur in those of the gopher
Ornithodoros turicata Duges
Parasite(?): Crescent City (as americanus Marx), Hubbard (1894:
306); DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater, Hubbard, (1896: 299-301); Keene,
Kissimmee, and Crescent City, Banks, (1908: 18). The published records
indicate that the species is not a parasite on the gopher but merely inhabits
the burrows. In Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California the species
is found on cattle (Banks, 1908: 18). E. T. Boardman (unpublished thesis,
University of Florida, 1929) records the species as occurring on the Gopher
Frog, Rana capito.
Amblyomma tuberculatum Marx
Parasite: Described from a specimen taken by Hubbard from a gopher
at Crescent City and a specimen from Florida without definite locality
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
(Marx, in Hubbard, 1894: 315). Banks (1908: 38) gives its range as
"various parts of Florida, and-associated with the gopher tortoise". Our
records: Miami, v.20.33, F. N. Young; Leesburg, v.4.38, C. C. Goff, and
Gainesville, xi.28.36, F. N. Young. All taken on gophers. The species
is the largest North American tick, and its allies are South American.
Parasites: In addition to the above some orobatid mites are said to
occur on the beetle, Copris gopheri, which inhabits the burrows (Hubbard,
Ceuthophilus latibuli Scudder
Scavenger: Described (in part) from specimens taken by Hubbard
in gopher burrows at Crescent City, (Scudder, in Hubbard, 1894: 313-4).
Frequently cited as an inquiline of the gopher burrow, but not confined
to this situation. It will even dig its own burrow if no better cover offers.
For a detailed discussion of the habits and distribution see Hubbell, 1936:
324-3. Our records: Leesburg, iii.16.38, trapped in mouth of burrow, C. C.
Goff; Gainesville, xi.4.39, trapped in burrow and xi.8.39, observed in bur-
row, F. N. Young.
Ceuthophilus walker Hubbell
Scavenger: Frequents occupied and unoccupied burrows of the gopher,
but uses cover of other sorts. For habits and distribution see Hubbell,
1936: 394-6. Our records: Gainesville, xi.28.36, in burrows excavated near
town, F. N. Young.
Pegomya gopheri Johnson
Coprophage (in larval stage): Described (in part) from specimens
bred from larvae found feeding on excrement in gopher burrows by Hub-
bard, (Johnson, 1913: 77-8). Types from DeFuniak Springs, iv.7 (includ-
ing the holotype), Crescent City, iii.23, Clearwater vi.27.1894 and Keene,
Fla. (Coquillet). Hubbard (1896: 299-301, as Hylema n. sp.) This or
a very similar species occurs in the burrows of Geomys as well as in those
of the tortoise. This seems to indicate a partial interchange of faunas
between the two associations, but the species from the two situations are
not positively identical. The larvae may not be coprophagous. Malloch
(Bull. Brooklyn Ent. Soc., 15: 124, 1920) expresses doubts that they are
true dung feeders, and David G. Hall of the U.S.D.A. (in letter to T. H.
Hubbell concerning the determination of the species found in Geomys bur-
rows) is uncertain of their food habits. Dipterous larvae and adults which
might be this species were found in burrows at Miami, v.20.33 and i.31.34,
F. N. Young.
Coprophage (in larval stage): Hubbard records this (1896: 299-301)
from the larvae found in dung at the end of burrows as Limosina sp.
(Borboridae). Crescent City, DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater (Hub-
bard, 1896: 299-301). For genus see Johnson, 1913: 79. As far as known
confined to gopher burrows.
VOL. XXII-No. 4 59
Epizeuxis gopheri Smith
Coprophage (in larval stage): Described from specimens taken at
Crescent City by Hubbard, (J. B. Smith, 1899, Can. Ent., xxxi: 94. De-
Funiak Springs and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 301, as Epizeuxis n. sp.),
and Crescent City, Hubbard (1894: 305, as Deltoid (?) Moth). Whether
or not the larvae are true coprophages is not definitely known. Our
records: Adults possibly referable to this species, Gainesville, xi.28.36,
and larvae xi.8.39, F. N. Young.
Ptomophagus ulkei Horn
Casual (?): DeFuniak Springs, Hubbard (1896: 302) as a visitantt".
Ptomophaguis consobrinus (Lec.)
Casual (?): Crescent City, Hubbard (1896:302) as a visitantt".
This species or a close ally of LeConte's species also occurs in the burrows
of Geomys at Gainesville.
Predator: A series of this brightly colored species from Gainesville,
xi.28.36, and a single specimen xi.8.39, F. N. Young. Most of the specimens
were taken in small side burrows along about the first eight feet of the
gopher burrow. The species resembles flo~idanus Austin but is large and
differs in several characters from specimens determined as that species
by W. S. Blatchley (Agr. Exp. Sta. Collection, Gainesville, Florida.) Prob-
ably not confined to the burrows of the gopher.
Linolathra dimidiata (Say)
Casual: Gainesville, xi.8.39, in lower part of burrow, F. N. Young.
Common elsewhere as in gopher burrows.
Acrostilicus hospes Hubbard
Predator: Hubbard (1896: 299-301) defines the genus and species
by a comparison with the genus Stilicopsis, but gives no description nor
did he apparently describe it before his death in 1899. Since none of the
rules of nomenclature has been broken the species must remain on our
lists although it is practically unknown. Crescent City, DeFuniak Springs,
and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-301).
Philonthus cautus Er.
Casual: Hubbard (1896: 302) records it as a visitantt", from Crescent
City, DeFuniak Springs, and Clearwater. Not confined to the burrows.
Philonthus gopheri Hubbard
Predator: Described by Hubbard (1894: 308-9) from gopher burrows
excavated at Crescent City, and recorded by him (1896:299-301) from
DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater. Notman (1920) records, "Three speci-
mens marked 'Fla.' and three Enterprise, October 15, one of these labeled
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
'Gophers Hole'." Our records: Gainesville, xi.28.36, in dung at end of
burrow, and xi.8.39, larvae and adults at end of burrow, F. N. Young.
Apparently an obligate of the gopher burrow.
Casual: Crescent City, Hubbard (1894: 304); DeFuniak Springs and
Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-301). Members of this genus are mostly
inconspicuous insects associated with dung and probably occur in the gopher
burrow only by chance. A small Homalota, probably not the same as the
one recorded by Hubbard, was taken at Gainesville, xi.8.39, in dung at
end of burrow, F. N. Young.
Trichopteryx n. sp.
Coprophage: Crescent City, Hubbard (1894: 304); DeFuniak Springs
and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-301) as Trichopteryx sp. indet. Noted
as abundant in the accumulation of dung at the end of burrows.
Coprophage: Gainesville, xi.8.39, in dung at end of burrow, F. N.
Young. May be same as above, but keys to Nossidium. The small size of
the members of this family makes the study of their habits and taxonomy
Chelyoxenus xerobatis Hubbard
Coprophage (?) and Predator (as larva): Described from burrows
at Crescent City by Hubbard (1894: 309-10), and recorded by him (1896:
299-301) from Lake Worth (Hamilton), DeFuniak Springs and Clearwater.
Our records: Gainesville, xi.28.39 and xi.8.39, in dung at end of burrow,
F. N. Young; Miami, v.20.33, xii.30.33, i.29.33, in dung at end of burrows,
F. N. Young. The species is especially interesting because it apparently
represents a relict genus which has no close allies in the United States.
Saprinus ferrugineus Marseul
Casual: Crescent City, Hubbard (1894: 305) and DeFuniak Springs
and Clearwater, Hubbard (1896: 299-302) as a visitantt". Common
throughout the State.
Choeridium lecontei Harold
Casual: Leesburg, vii.9.38, trapped in mouth of burrows, C. C. Goff.
Common at dung throughout the northern part of the State and the sur-
Phanaeus floridanus D'Ols.
Casual: Leesburg, vii.14.38, trapped at mouth of burrow, C. C. Goff.
Not normally associated with the gopher.
Copris gopheri Hubbard
Coprophage: Described from burrows at Crescent City by Hubbard
(1894:310-11) and recorded by him (1896:299-301) from DeFuniak
Springs and Clearwater. Blatchley (1928: 10) records the species from
gopher burrows at, Lake Worth, Enterprise, Sanford, Lake Mary, and
Clearwater, based on work of E. A. Schwarz (Manuscript list of Florida
VOL. XXII-No. 4 61
Coleoptera in Smithsonian). This species is closely allied to Copris minutus
Drury, but it is a true obligate and shows adaptations for a subterranean
Onthophagus tuberculifrons Harold
Casual: Leesburg, vii.9.38, vii.14.38, trapped at mouth of burrows,
C. C. Goff. A common species which probably wandered into the traps by
Onthophagus polyphemi Hubbard'
Coprophage: Described by Hubbard from gopher burrows at Crescent
City (1894: 311-12), and recorded by him from DeFuniak Springs and
Clearwater (1896: 299-301). Blatchley (1928: 12) records it further from
Lake Worth (Hamilton), Enterprise (Castle and Laurent), Sanford and
Lake Mary (Schwarz Manuscript), and LaGrange (Davis). Our records:
Leesburg, vii.2.38, vii.7.38, and vii.14.38, trapped at mouth of burrows, C. C.
Goff; Gainesville, xi.28.36 from dung at end of burrow, and xi.8.39, from
burrows in roof of gopher burrow, F. N. Young. Known only from gopher
burrows and without any close allies in North America. It probably
represents a now otherwise extinct group of the genus.
Ataenius abditus Hald.
Casual: Gainesville, xi.8.39, about 6 feet down in burrow, F. N. Young.
Probably fell in during the digging.
Aphodius troglodytes Hubbard
Coprophage: Described from Crescent City from gopher burrows by
Hubbard (1894: 312-13) and recorded by him from DeFuniak Springs and
Clearwater (1896:299-301). Blatchley (1928:23) further records the
species from Enterprise (Castle and Laurent), and Lake Mary (Fall).
Our records: North Miami, v.20.33, xii.30.33, xii.31.33, i.29.34, from sand
floor and dung at end of burrows, F. N. Young; Gainesville, xi.28.36 and
xi.8.39, from dung at end of burrows, F. N. Young. The species is con-
fined to the gopher burrow, but a closely allied species, Aphodius geomysi
Cartwright, occurs in the burrows of Geomys.
Anthicus ictericus Laf.
Casual: Crescent City, Hubbard (1894, footnote p. 305). Probably
fell in in the course of the excavation.
BANKS, NATHAN, 1908. A Revision of the Ixodoidea, or Ticks, of the
United States. U.S.D.A. Technical series, No. 15.
BLATCHLEY, W. S., 1928. The Scarabaeidae of Florida. Florida Entomol-
ogist, XI, XII, XIII, XIV.
HUBBARD, H. G., 1894. The Insect Guests of the Florida Land Tortoise.
Insect Life, VI, 4: 302-315.
1896. Additional Notes on the Insect Guests of the Florida Land
Tortoise. Proc. Ent. Soc. Washington, III, 5: 299-302.
'Mr. O. L. Cartwright, of the South Carolina Experiment Station, Clemson, S. C.,
tells us that he has recorded this species and Aphodius troglodytes from gopher burrows
in southeastern South Carolina.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
HUBBELL, T. H., 1936. A Monographic Revision of the Genus Ceuthophilus.
Univ. of Florida Publ., Biol. Sci. Series, II, 1: 1-550.
HALLINAN, THOMAS, 1923. Observations made in Duval County, Northern
Florida, on the Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus. Copeia, 114,
Jan. 20, 1923.
JOHNSON, C. W., 1913. Insects of Florida. I. Diptera. Bull. American Mus.
Nat. Hist., XXXII, iii: 37-90.
NOTMAN, HOWARD, 1920. Staphylinidae from Florida in the Collection of
the American Museum of Natural History, with Descriptions of New
Genera and Species. Bull. American Mus. Nat. Hist., XLII, xvii:
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Official Organ of the Florida Entomological Society
VOL. XXII DECEMBER, 1939 No. 4
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A REPORT ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE COLLECTIONS
AND LIBRARY OF MR. C. C. GOFF
When a worker with the wide interests and the activity of
the late C. C. Goff passes away, he often leaves behind him a
mass of accumulated data which he has not had time to prepare
for publication. The untimely death of Mr. Goff cut short his
work, but his notes were so orderly and complete and his records
so accurate that his associates have been able to finish some
of his papers and additional papers based on his collections and
notes have been prepared by other specialists. In order that
the members of the Florida Entomological Society may know
of these papers and of the disposition of his collections and
library, it seems desirable to present a summary of this work.
About two hundred vials of arthropods which had been taken
from the burrows of Geomys, Peromyscus, and Gopherus and a
number of notes concerning these specimens were turned over
to Prof. T. H. Hubbell of the Department of Biology of the
University of Florida. Prof. Hubbell assorted these specimens
and forwarded parts of the collection to other specialists for
study and identification. Among those who have studied and
determined Goff's specimens are: 0. L. Cartwright of Clemson
College, E. S. Ross of the California Academy of Sciences, Dr.
J. Bequaert of the Harvard School of Tropical Medicine, C. H.
Frost and the late H. C. Fall of Massachusetts, Dr. R. V.
Chamberlin of the University of Utah, Dr. H. B. Mills of Mon-
tana State College, and numerous specialists in the Department
of Agriculture at Washington, particularly in the Division of
Insect Identification of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Quarantine. Some of the insects collected by Mr. Goff are in
the Agricultural Experiment Station at Gainesville, and repre-
sentatives of each species described from his specimens will be
About three hundred specimens of reptiles which Mr. Goff
had collected in recent years were presented to the Department
of Biology of the University of Florida, and have been incor-
porated into the Reptile Collection of that institution. The notes
on reptiles made by him have been turned over to Dr. A. F. Carr
and Coleman J. Goin of the same department.
Mr. Goff had been closely associated with Prof. H. B. Sher-
man of the Department of Biology in the study of certain Florida
mammals. He had collected over two hundred specimens of
mammals, mostly of the genera Geomys and Peromyscus, some
of which had been loaned to Prof. Sherman for study and since
his death the remaining specimens and notes have been given
to Prof. Sherman.
The Goff library and personal reprints were turned over to
Coleman J. Goin for handling. The undistributed separates were
mailed to specialists in Goff's own field who had not yet received
them and his reprint library was put up for sale. It was felt
that more money could be obtained by selling different portions
of the library to reliable persons than could be had by selling
it intact to a commercial dealer. At present all but a few books
and about three hundred reprints have been sold for a total of
$119.60. It is expected that additional sums can be obtained
for those as yet unsold. As rapidly as this money is collected
it is forwarded to Miss Frances Shultz, 1909 McElderry Street,
Baltimore, Md., who is the guardian of Mr. Goff's young daugh-
The following papers, based on Mr. Goff's specimens and
notes, have been written:
(1) A paper describing new species of beetles, including three new
species of Scarabaeidae from Geomys burrows, by O. L. Cartwright, pub-
lished in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, June, 1939.
(2) A paper describing a new genus of blind "camel-cricket" from
Geomys burrows, by T. H. Hubbell, to be published in the Annals of the
Entomological Society of America.
(3) A paper describing one new genus and four new species of Histerid
beetles from Geomys burrows, by E. S. Ross, to be published in the Annals
of the Entomological Society of America.
(4) A paper describing one new genus and two new species of centi-
pedes from Geomys burrows, by R. V. Chamberlin, not yet submitted for
VOL. XXII-No. 4
(5) A paper on the insects and other arthropods from the burrows
of Gopherus polyphemus, by Frank N. Young and C. C. Goff, published
in this number of the FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST.
(6) A paper on the Arthropod fauna of Geomys burrows, by C. C.
Goff and T. H. Hubbell, to be published in the Proceedings of the Florida
Academy of Sciences.
Additional papers, based at least in part on Mr. Goff's ma-
terial, may be expected in the future from other specialists who
have not as yet completed their manuscripts for publication.
COLEMAN J. GOING
Department of Biology
University of Florida
NOTES ON Chaetoanaphothrips orchidii (Moulton) FOUND
ATTACKING CITRUS FRUIT IN FLORIDA
By W. L. THOMPSON, Associate Entomologist
Citrus Experiment Station
Lake Alfred, Florida
In 1937 some mature grapefruit with rather unusual surface
markings were sent to the Citrus Experiment Station at Lake
Alfred from a grove on Merritt Island, near Cocoa, Brevard
County. The writer visited the grove and observed nymphs of
some species of thrips on the marked fruit. In December, 1937,
the writer, accompanied by J. R. Watson1, visited the grove and
collected an adult thrips on a marked fruit. Watson has iden-
tified the thrips as Chaetoanaphothrips orchidii (Moulton).
A. M. Boyce2 had recently described a similar injury on oranges
in California that was caused by the greenhouse thrips, Helio-
thrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouche). During February, 1938, the
writer visited groves in La Ceiba, Honduras, and observed mark-
ings on grapefruit similar to those described by Boyce on oranges
in California and also much like the markings on the grapefruit
in Florida. The thrips collected on the fruit in Honduras were
identified by J. R. Watson as greenhouse thrips. One particular
difference between the marked fruit in Honduras and that in
Florida was the visible excrement deposited by the greenhouse
thrips, as described by Boyce, while on the fruit in Florida no
excrement was visible. During 1938 periodical visits were made
to two infested groves in the vicinity of Cocoa, Florida. The
'J. R. Watson, Entomologist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
'The California Citrograph, Vol. 23, No. 1, November, 1937.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
C. orchidii were more abundant in a neglected grove than in
one that received the regular spray program for disease and
insect control. All sprays except an oil spray contained sulfur.
During 1939 the thrips were observed in groves in the following
counties: Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Hardee, Manatee,
Polk and Orange (marked fruit only). The C. orchidii have
been collected on oranges and tangelos in addition to grapefruit.
It is interesting to note also that a few greenhouse thrips were
collected in groves in Brevard and Indian River Counties.
The adults of the C. orchidii are a light yellowish color. The
wing shoulders are dark with a light area right back of the
shoulders and the remainder of the wing is dark in color, giving
the appearance of two black stripes down the back when the
wings are folded. There are three small scarlet-colored dots
between the eyes (ocellar crescents) that can barely be seen
through the hand lens (10X). The adults are very lively when
disturbed or when in direct sunlight. The young nymphs are
colorless, seemingly almost transparent but the older nymphs
are a very light yellowish color and, as they become more
mature, the abdomen has a pinkish tinge of color. The nymphs,
like the adults, become quite active when exposed to direct
The life history has not been studied but young nymphs were
observed 10 days after adults had been placed on the fruit and
in 33 days (September 30 to November 2) adults were observed.
On the average there were only four to six nymphs per infested
fruit but 16 nymphs and four adults have been found on a
The C. orchidii feed in sheltered areas on the fruit much as
do the greenhouse thrips and are found chiefly at the point of
contact between fruit in clusters although they are also found
where a leaf is in close contact with the fruit. An occasional
nymph has been found on the under surface of a leaf where
the leaf was directly over an infested fruit. The thrips appear
to prefer green, immature fruit. Where both green fruit and
mature fruit were on the same tree there was a higher per-
centage on infested green fruit than mature fruit.
The appearance of the injury caused by C. orchidii differs
according to the age of the fruit at the time it is attacked. When
young fruit are attacked the injury appears as a solid area due
to the fact that the contact between the fruit is practically a
point contact. After the fruit has matured the early injury
VOL. XXII-No. 4
has the appearance of a silvery to dark brown-colored blotch,
sometimes two to three inches wide. The injury produced on
the more matured fruit usually takes the form of a dark brown
ring since the mature fruit have flattened to form an area of
contact into which the thrips are unable to penetrate so that
the injury takes place around the area of contact.
The C. orchidii is probably not a very new species in Florida
since the ringed injury on grapefruit has been observed for
some years and was thought by many to have been the result
of an oil burn from the rind of the fruit caused by the oil being
pressed out of the rind by the weight and rubbing of large fruits
hanging in clusters.
Commercial damage has been observed in only a limited num-
ber of groves and in each case no sulfur or only a minimum
number of sulfur sprays had been applied during the spring and
summer. In one portion of a commercial grove an unsprayed
check plot had thrips injury on 57 percent of the fruit hanging
singly and 70 percent of the fruit hanging in clusters. Sulfur
sprays applied for rust mite control are apparently a factor in
keeping the thrips population at a minimum. In various experi-
mental plots receiving sulfur sprays there was less marked fruit
than in the unsprayed checks although none of the sprays were
applied for thrips control. In one preliminary experiment for
thrips control on grapefruit the thrips population was decreased
84 percent with 1.5 percent lime-sulfur solution supplemented
with 6 pounds of wettable sulfur per 100 gallons.
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