Title: Florida Entomologist
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Title: Florida Entomologist
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Creator: Florida Entomological Society
Publisher: Florida Entomological Society
Place of Publication: Winter Haven, Fla.
Publication Date: 1932
Copyright Date: 1917
 Subjects
Subject: Florida Entomological Society
Entomology -- Periodicals
Insects -- Florida
Insects -- Florida -- Periodicals
Insects -- Periodicals
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Volume ID: VID00295
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Florida Entomologist
Official Organ of the Florida Entomological Society

Vol. XV MARCH, 1932 No. 4

THE OLE NDER CATERPILLAR,
SYNTOMIEDXA EPILAIS, WALKER
HOMER E. BRATLEY
This insect is a pest of one of our important ornamentals, the
oleander, Nerium oleander; hence its name. The author has not
observed the insect feeding on any other plant. At times it is
sufficiently numerous to cause great damage by the defoliation
of the plants. Its native host plant, according to Grossbeck (4),
is Echites umbellata. This plant is found in the southern part
of Florida, in the West Indies, and possibly in other parts of
tropical America. It belongs to the same family as the oleander
(Apocynaceae). The adult, a purplish moth with greenish wings
dotted with white, is known as the Polka-dot wasp moth. (Fig.
22, Plate I.)
DISTRIBUTION
Dyar (1) who first described the larvae, obtained them in
1889 from the East Coast of Florida at Lake Worth about four
miles south of Palm Beach. Riley (6) mentions what the writer
supposes is the adult in a collection made by Mr. Schwarz at
Cocoanut Grove, Florida, sometime prior to March 13th, 1888.
By June of 1930 this insect had advanced up the coast of Flor-
ida to a point about fifteen miles north of Vero Beach. During
the summer of 1930 specimens of its larvae were received at
the Florida Experiment Station from several points south of a
line from Vero Beach, on the East Coast, to Clearwater on the
West Coast of Florida, and in 1931 from Haines City and Daven-
port. In "Biologia Centrali Americana", Mexico and several
points in northern South America are named as localities where
this moth has been collected. From this it appears that this spe-
cies is native of the tropics.
LIFE HISTORY
The egg is light lemon yellow in color and very smooth and
even in outline and surface. Seen from above it appears to be







58 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
a perfect sphere, but the side next to the attachment with the
leaf is much flattened. The equatorial diameter is 1 mm. and
the polar diameter .7 mm. The exposed surface, while smooth,
gives (under magnification) the appearance of being under-
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PLATE I
laid with a hexagonal netting. As the egg approaches to within
a few hours of hatching, the color changes to a slate or lead
color, due probably to the separation of the larvae from the
shell and entrance of air.


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WINTER NUMBER


The duration of the egg stage depends upon the prevailing
temperature, as do also the lengths of the larval instars. (Plate
II.) During June, July, August and September, two days were
required for the eggs to hatch. This was extended up to a maxi-
mum of six days for other months of the year. The moth places.
from a dozen to seventy-five eggs in a group on the underside
of the leaf. (Plate I, Fig. 12.) They are uniformly separated
from each other in the group. In some groups they appear in
even check rows, while in others no straight rows were noted.
The young larva, in hatching, eats a circular portion of the
shell comprising about three-fourths the diameter of the egg.
When this operation is completed, the larva rests for about
thirty minutes, during which time it passes thru its first molt.
In crawling from the shell the larva leaves behind the shed skin
of this first molt. After extracting itself from the egg it rests
for about an hour, after which it eats the remaining portion of
the egg shell and the cast skin. All that remains to indicate
where there had been a group of eggs are the small glistening
spots on the leaf where each was attached.
The description of the larval stages is well given by Mr. Dyar
(1), except for a few variations or corrections and additions
here noted.
The first instar is spent in the egg shell as mentioned above.
The duration of this instar was about three quarters of an hour.
The hairs in this stage are short and very few in number, the
more noticeable ones being located on the larger tubercles where,
later in life, the more dense tufts occur. The head measures .4
mm. in width. The author wishes to note here with all due re-
spect to Mr. Dyar, for entomologists are indebted to him for a
great fund of insect information, that this instar was evidently
overlooked by him. Therefore his descriptions apply to instars
later by one than the one he designates. His description of the
"first larval stage" is of the second and likewise his description
of the "second" applies to the third, etc. Thus instead of five
larval stages or instars there are six.
The second instar, which has a head breadth of .5 mm., cor-
responds in other measurements to those given by Mr. Dyar
when he describes larval "stage one". In figures (Plate II) I-III,
will be found seta maps of the thoracic segments and in figures
1-10 of the abdominal segments, thus eliminating the necessity
of lengthy descriptions. The lettering system used by Fracker








60 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST

(3) has been followed. These maps resemble most closely Frack-
er's maps of Syntomis phegea, showing family relationship. Fig-
ure 11, Plate I, shows one entire hair of this stage larva.
The duration of the second instar during the first third of
March was from three to thirteen days, and during the last part
of May, three to four days.
, The duration of the third instar in summer, last part of May,
was three and four days, and during the first half of March,
three to eight days. Figure (13) illustrates the tip of a hair of
this stage, and figure 23, Plate I, presents a tubercled area
bearing hairs. This and the figures of the hairs are greatly
magnified. Figure (14) shows the larva.
The fourth instar occupied from four to ten days during the
middle portion of March, and four and five days in early June.
Figure (15) illustrates the larva of this instar, and figure (16)
shows the larva molting.
From six to twelve days during the last half of March, and
from four to six during the first part of June were consumed
in the fifth instar (Figure 17).

INSTAR DURATION SUMMARY

Instar Spring Summer Average

1st ................. 1/2-1 hour I -1 hour % hour
2nd ................ 3-13 days 3 and 4 days 4.35 days
3rd -----............ 3- 8 days 3 and 4 days 4.33 days
4th .................. 4-10 days 4 and 5 days 5.60 days
5th ...................... 6-12 days 4, 5, and 6 days 6.37 days
6th .................. 4-16 days 4-8 days 6.95 days

Total ........ 20-59 days 18-28 days 27.60 days


The sixth instar required from four to sixteen days during the
last of March and early April, and from four to eight days dur-
ing the middle third of June. The measurements agree with
those given by Dyar in his description of the "fifth larval stage".
Figure (18) shows a larva and figure (19) illustrates the tip
of a hair of this instar (same magnification as other figures of








WINTER NUMBER


hairs). In comparing these illustrations of the hairs one would
surmise that their length and the character of their side projec-
tions could be used as a means of determining the instar.

RETARDATION DUE TO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
During the larval instars it was noted that larvae kept in in-
dividual cages remained in the instar longer than those of the
same age allowed to remain in the colony. Where three or four
larvae were confined together no particular increase of the instar
period was noted. When kept together those of the same age passed
thru their changes at the same time. Only one exception to this
was noted and that for a single molt. When succeeding molts
occurred this individual molted along with the rest. Since the
work was completed, Mr. W. C. Allee's book "Animal Aggrega-
tions", published by the University of Chicago Press, has ap-
peared. This work contains some similar observations along
this line.
The prepupal period was marked by the non-feeding of the
insect and the evacuation of the alimentary canal. The time
required for this period was from three to ten days; from three
to seven during the latter third of June, and from four to ten
during first half of April. During this time the larva hunts a
location for pupation, completes its loosely woven cocoon of hair
and silken threads (Plate I, Fig. 20) and sheds its last larval
skin. The pupa (Fig. 21) when first formed is a very light
brownish yellow in color and requires a day to become a dark
brown.
The pupal period, seven to fourteen days during the last of
June and first of July and sixteen to twenty during April, lasted
on an average thirteen and eighty-three hundredths days.
The adult stage (Fig. 22, female), wasp-like in form, lasts
an average of nine days, although it varies from four to twelve
days during the last of April and the first of May, and from two
to thirteen during mid-July. The adult measures across the ex-
panded wings from 44.6 to 51.4 mm., and from the anterior bor-
der of the head to the tip of the abdomen from 16.5 to 18.3 mm.
The color according to "Dictionary of Color", by Maerz and Paul
(Plate 46, F 12), for the body generally, is marine purple navy.
The wings' ground color corresponds most nearly to jungle
green (L 12 of Plate 32). The antennae for two thirds their
length are the same color as the wings, with the apical third








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


feathered in white. The primary wings are decorated with two
large white spots centrally located in the basal and apical halves.
Near the middle of the anterior margin is a third white spot;
two very small white spots are anterior to the large spot in api-
cal half; and a sixth spot occurs on the costal margin at the
junction of wing and body. The secondaries, much smaller than
the primaries, have one white spot in each center and one on
the anal margin. The legs are of the same color as the wings,
with pairs one and two having white tipped joints except those
of the tarsi. The third pair are white at conjunction of femur
and tibia and the tarsal joints are all white.
The metathoracic segment dorsally displays three white spots,
a very small triangular one on the anterior dorsum and one
nearly discal spot on each side of the dorsum. Each thoracic
segment bears one oval white spot on each lateral area.
The abdomen's ground color as mentioned above has the last
two visible segments "sungod" (Maerz and Paul, Plate 2, H. 12) ;
the lateral surfaces of segments two and three have one rather
large white spot and the ventral surfaces of segments one and
two have two white spots each, one on each side of the medium
venter.
LIFE CYCLE SUMMARY

Stages Egg Larval Prepupal Pupal Adult Complete

Minimum time.. 2 days 16 days 3 days 7 days 2 days 30.5 days
Maximum time.. 6 days 59 days 10 days 20 days 13 days 108 days
Average time ... 4 days 27.6 days 5.06 days 13.83 days 9.05 days 59.54 days


The life periods are graphically shown in the "Life Cycle
Chart". This and the "Temperature During Studies" graph
should be studied together, thus comparing the various periods
of each stage under different temperatures. The shortest period
required to pass a complete life cycle was thirty-three days,
which was during June and the first part of July. The maxi-
mum or longest period required was a hundred and eight days,
during February, March, April and part of May. The general
average period for completion was fifty-nine days.
The temperatures prevailing during the growth of this in-
sect may be had from the graph "Temperature During Studies".









WINTER NUMBER 63

The author wishes to call the reader's attention to the tempera-
tures during March, which were the lowest of any. The devel-
opment of the larvae was on an average extremely slow. The
eggs from which these caterpillars hatched were sent to the
Station from Vero Beach. So they were reared away from their
nativity as well as being in a colder region. In June the author
went to Vero Beach to collect data on them in a more congenial





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climate. He was able to observe the laying of the eggs, also to
collect several groups to bring back and continue the studies.










The growth of these last was much more rapid and the tem-
peratures were higher and more constant. The minimum dur-
ing the latter period continues at about the same temperature
level as the maximum in the earlier period. One female, ob-



served laying, spent thirty minutes in the deposition of thirty-
five eggs. The depositing of the eggs was not observed to occur
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PLATE II

climate. He was able to observe the laying of the eggs, also to
collect several groups to bring back and continue the studies.
The growth of these last was much more rapid and the tem-
peratures were higher and more constant. The minimum dur-
ing the latter period continues at about the same temperature
level as the maximum in the earlier period. One female, ob-
served laying, spent thirty minutes in the deposition of thirty-
five eggs. The depositing of the eggs was not observed to occur








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


before three P.M., nor after five-thirty P.M. Likewise the adults
do not emerge from the pupae during any part of the day ex-
cept from one-thirty to four-thirty P.M. No emergence of adults
nor laying of eggs was observed at any other times of the day.

CONTROL
Natural controls have proven inadequate. During very moist
weather some entomogenous fungi and bacterial diseases have
a tendency to decrease their numbers, but to such a small extent
that it is unnoticed and cannot be depended upon to hold these
insects in check. No insect parasites were found.
Liquid sprays, too, have been discarded on account of their
inability to spread and stick to the waxy foliage of the oleander.
People combatting this insect have found best control by dust-
ing. The dust is best applied when the foliage is dry, and a
liberal covering is necessary, especially when the larvae are
present. Calcium arsenate is a good dust to use. Another dust,
composed of one pound of lead arsenate to about four to seven
pounds of hydrated lime, also gives good results. The life his-
tory studies would indicate that during the summer these dust-
ings should be repeated about every thirty days; during the
winter every ninety days should suffice. Paris green has also
been used with good results. This should be mixed with hy-
drated lime in the same proportions and applied under the
same conditions as the lead arsenate.

LITERATURE
1. DYAR, HARRISON G. Preparatory stages of Syntomedia epilais Walk.,
Etc. Insect Life, V. II, p. 360. 1889-1890.
2. SyntomlLLa epilais Walker. Jour. N. Y. Ent. Soc. V. IV, p.
72. 1896.
3. FRACKER, STANLEY BLACK. The Classification of Lepidopterous Larvae.
Illinois Biological Monographs. V. II. No. 1. July, 1915.
4. GROSSBECK, JOHN A. "Syntomeij epilais", in Lepidoptera of Florida.
Bul. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., V. 37, p. 45 & 46. 1917.
5. HOLLAND, W. J. Syntomiit. The Moth Book. p. 99. 1903.
6. RILEY, C. V. Characters of Syntomipla sp., and of an undetermined
moth. Proc. Ent. Soc. Wash. V. 1, pp. 88 & 89. March 13, 1888.







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FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Official Organ of The Florida Entomological Society, Gainesville,
Florida.

Vol. XV MARCH, 1932 No. 4

J. R. W ATSON .......................................................................... Editor
WILMON NEWELL...........................................- Associate Editor
H. E. BRATLEY---......--..............-------- .......---.....Business Manager
Issued once every three months. Free to all members of the
Society.
Subscription price to non-members is $1.00 per year in ad-
vance; 35 cents per copy.


ON THE BIOLOGY OF LIMONIA (DICRANOMYIA)
FLORIDANA (OSTEN SACKEN)
J. SPEED ROGERS
Department of Biology, University of Florida
Limonia (Dicranomyia) floridana was described by Osten
Sacken' from specimens taken by himr in Florida, probably in
the vicinity of Jacksonville, in 1858. Subsequent records appear
to restrict the range of this species to the southern Atlantic and
eastern Gulf coasts of the United States with specimens re-
ported from Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia and South
Carolina. In Florida, Johnson" records the species from Jack-
sonville and I have specimens from Dade County and from
Manatee, Sarasota and Levy counties on the West Coast.
This is the only Florida crane-fly known to have a marine or
seimi-marine habitat. All the adults that I have taken were
swept from the Juncus (Juncus Roemerianus) marshes of
brackish tidal flats. Here they are often abundant in late De-
cemiber and January and may be flushed in midge-like swarms
as one walks or wades across the tidal flats. Although occa-
sional specimens have been collected in June and August and,

1Osten Sacken, C. R., Monographs of the North American Diptera:
Part IV; Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 219, 1869: 67, as Dicra-
nomyia floridana.
Recently, Alexander (Alexander, C. P., Philippine Journal of Science,
40, 1929: 239-248) has made Dicranomnyia Stephens a subgenus of Limbnia
Meigen.
.Jo.hnspn, C. W., Insects of Florida. I. Diptera; Bulletin American
Museum of Natural History, 32, 1913: 41.







66 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST












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EXPLANATION OF FIGURES
1. Mentum of larval head capsule, ventral view.
2. Spiracular disk of larvae, caudal view
3. Hypopharynx of larval head capsule, dorsal view.
4. Caudal end of larva, side view, showing anal gills.
5. Left mandible of larval head capsule, mesal surface.
6. Pronotal breathing-horns of pupa, side view.
7. Head of pupa, ventral view. The apices of the pronotal breathing-
horns are shown on either side of the median cephalic crest.
8. Cauda of male pupa, dorsal view.








WINTER NUMBER


at times of greatest abundance, specimens have been taken a
few hundred yards inland, the species is largely confined to the
Juncus flats and the typical season for the adult stage is the
mid-winter months.
The larvae and pupae occur in the coarse, matted algal tufts
that grow on the exposed roots and lower stems of the Juncus
and in the carpet of the same algae that forms a tough, tena-
cious film over much of the surface of the flats within the Jun-
cus zone. This algae is submerged for several hours (3-5, or
more) at high tide by brackish, or, in some cases, nearly pure
sea water. I have no measurement of the degree of the salinity
but have noted jelly fish and ctenophorans in large numbers
immediately above the spots from which larvae and pupae of
L. floridana were taken. At low tide, these flats abound with
fidlar crabs and many polychaete worms, close to Neries, bur-
row among and beneath the Juncus roots. In the algal tufts
that harbor the crane-fly larvae and pupae are also found many
amphipods and several species of other dipterous larvae includ-
ing Psychoda and one or two representatives of Chironomidae.
The adults are largely diurnal and may be found mating and
ovipositing during most of the daylight hours. Their flight is
among or just above the slender, waist-high, erect spikes of the
rushes and is of short duration, the flies soon alighting, head
up, on the vertical stems. Mating often takes place on these
stems without preliminary flight but copulating pairs are easily
flushed and often seen on the wing. Mating was noted at all
periods of the day but at low tide the males were often found
on the lower stems and many pairs that included very general
females were seen on or just above the algal tufts at the bases
of the stems. Oviposition takes place at low tide when the algae
are exposed. In all the cases observed, the eggs were placed, ap-
parently one at a time, a few millimeters apart in the algal
tufts that sheathed the bases of Juncus stems; however, very
young larvae have been taken from the algal carpet on the soil
between the stems, and females, apparently searching for sites
for oviposition, are frequently found walking over this algal car-
pet. The oviposition is quite like that of other members of the
genus, and a succession of 5-12 eggs is laid in one small area be-
fore the fly walks or flies to another, nearby site.
During the period of great adult abundance, many individ-
uals are to be found dead in spider webs that extend in loose








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


straggling fashion between the tips of the Juncus stems, and
many others fall a prey to the numerous individuals of Zygop-
tera that hunt about the tidal flats and rest on the tips of the
Juncus stems.
Most of the larvae and pupae were obtained by gathering
algae at low tide, washing it clean of silt and examining small
tufts in clear water. With this treatment all of the larvae were
found immovable within their tubes and deep within the algal
tufts. When, at high tide, small tufts or films of algae were
gently freed beneath the water and transferred into small
dishes of water, the larvae were frequently found at the surface
of the algae, and feeding upon the distal end of a filament.
These larvae usually had a small bubble of air in contact with
their spiracular disks and such air bubbles were retained for
several hours by larvae that were submerged in a dish of brack-
ish water where they fed upon the green terminal filaments of
algae.
Mats of algae, wet but not saturated with brackish water,
were taken from the tidal flats of the Manatee River on Janu-
ary 6, 1929 and carried to Gainesville. There tufts of the algae
were strewn on sand saturated with the brackish water and
kept wet but not submerged. Several of the larvae pupated
between January 29 and February 1; of these pupae a female
emerged February 7 and a male February 8, giving a pupal
duration at out-of-door temperature of 7-10 days. Rearing was
repeated in 1932 when larvae obtained Dec. 27, 1931 was brought
to Gainesville and pupated January 19. Two females emerged
January 25. On both occasions some of the larvae were placed
in the original algae and partially submerged in fresh tap water.
Here, although the algae was soon killed, several nearly mature
larvae pupated and later emerged as normal adults.
Limonia floridana is of interest as the only Floridian repre-
sentative of the small but rapidly growing list of crane-flies
whose habitats are known to be conditioned by marine associa-
tions. Until 1924 no member of the Tipuloidea had been re-
ported from such a habitat; then Pierre took two pupa of Psilo-
conopa marina from the tidal zone on the northern coast of
France. Next, Saunders' published on the life history of Li-
monia (Dicranomyia) signipennis (Coquillet) taken from the

'Saunders, L. G., Some Marine Insects from the Pacific Coast of Can-
ada, Annals Entomological Society of America, 21, 1928: 521-545.








WINTER NUMBER


tidal zone of the rocky shore line of Vancouver Island and again'
on the early stages of Limonia (Geranomyia) unicolor (Halli-
day), whose larvae and pupae were found in the filamentous
algae on a stone breakwater on the coast of Wales. Then Ma-
saaki Tokunaga' reported the immature stages of three species
of crane-flies: Limonia (Dicranomyia) monostroma Tokunaga,
Limonia (Idioglochino) tokunagai Alexander, and Limonia
(Dicranomyia) trifilamentosa Alexander, as occurring in and
feeding upon the algae, Monostroma sp., of the tidal zone of both
rocky and sandy coast line of Seta, Japan. Lastly, Mr. F. W.
Edwards has found the immature stages of a cranefly occur-
ring in the tidal zone of the coast of southern Chile. None of
these larvae or pupae appear to show any structural modifica-
tion to marine or tidal zone life and differ in no significant way
from those of related species whose larvae and pupae have
fresh-water or moist terrestrial habitats. Certainly the larvae
and pupa of Limonia floridana differ no more from the corre-
sponding stages of the species of the subgenus Dicranomyia that
inhabit fresh-water algae or terrestrial mosses than these dif-
fer from each other.

DESCRIPTION OF THE IMMATURE STAGES
Last Larval Instar
Length, 11-13 mm.; diameter, 0.8-1.0 mm. Form terete, thickest at mid-
length, tapering slightly before anterior and posterior ends; caudal end
truncate, cephalic end broadly rounded. Color in life, translucent pale
green, head capsule and creeping welts brown, spiracles and marks of
spiracular disk black. Preserved specimens wholly opaque; greyish white
save for markings of disk. Spiracular disk (fig. 2) comparatively large
for genus, its greatest diameter about one third of the eighth abdominal
segment, indistinctly 4-lobed, faces of the ventral lobes each with a large
triangular, jet-black spot, dorso-mesal angles of these spots prolonged.
Anal gills (fig. 4) short, bluntly rounded, their diameter nearly as great
as total length. Creeping welts as in this genus; those on abdominal
somites 1-7 well developed, conspicuous; the rings of points on thoracic
somites 2-3 and abdominal somite 8, reduced, scarcely apparent without
magnification.
Head capsule: length, 0.6 mm.; width, 0.4 mm. Form as in genus.
Mandible (fig. 5) with 5 ventral teeth; mentum (fig. 1) with 15 teeth; tips

'Saunders. L. G., The Early Stages of Geranomyia unicolor Haliday, A
Marine Tipulid, Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 46, 1930: 185-187.
'Tokunaga, Masaaki, The Mornho!ogical and Biological Studies on a
New Marine Crane-Fly, Limonia (Dicranomyia) monostromia, from Japan,
Memoirs of the College of Agriculture, Kyoto Imperial University, 10,
1930: 1-93, plates 1-27.








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


of lateral teeth evenly receding to lateral margins of mentum. Hypo-
pharynx (fig. 3) with 10 teeth on each plate, teeth of posterio-ventral
plate nearly as long as those of anterio-dorsal plate.
Earlier Stages
All early stage larvae that have been taken resemble the last instar
larvae in all respects save size. What instars they represented is unknown.
Measurements of four of these younger larvae are as follows: a, length,
4.2 mm.; diameter, 0.4-0.5 mm.; b, length 6.4 mm.; diameter 0.6 mm.; c,
length, 7.5 mm.; diameter, 0.7 mm.; d, length, 9.5 mm., diameter, 7.5 mm.
Pupa (Figs. 6, 7, 8)
Total length, 7.3 mm.; width (dextro-sinistral), 1.0 mm.; depth (dorso-
ventral), 1.0 mm.; length of pronotal breathing horn, 0.5 mm. Color in
life greenish white, the tarsi, tibia, wing pads, cauda and breathing horns
changing from yellow brown to dark brown with age, face and dorsum
of thorax yellowish brown in older pupae, eyes black. In preserved speci-
mens the greenish white areas become an opaque yellowish white.
Head slightly longer than broad; distinct, median, smooth, rounded
cephalic crest between antennal bases. Antennal sheaths smooth, extend-
ing slightly cephalad of bases of wing pads; flattened meso-ventral angles
of genae rounded. Labial sheaths with slight median notch on ventral
margin; maxillary sheaths with distinct notch on bases of ventral margins.
Pronotal breathing horns (fig. 6) strongly compressed; lateral faces
convex, mesal faces concave; in lateral view subreniform, broadest near
apex; pores along dorsal margin distinct with low magnification. Meso-
notum of thorax smooth, rounded; low median ridge on prothorax. Wing
pads extending to about midlength of 2nd abdominal somite, venation not
distinct; tarsal tips coterminal at caudal margin of 3rd abdominal somite.
Abdomen with dorsum and sternum concolorous with pleura; abdom-
inal welts on terga 3-7, sterna 4-7, not protuberant. Cauda chitinized,
brownish to dark brown. Male cauda as shown (fig. 8).

A ROSE CHAFER ATTACKS CITRUS

Occasionally a comparatively rare insect suddenly appears in
large numbers, usually very locally, and may temporarily be-
come a pest of some importance on a cultivated crop. Such an
instance occurred in February of this year, the culprit in this
case being a Scarabaeid, Macrodactylus angustatus (Beauv.),
and the victim citrus trees.
This beetle appeared in immense numbers in a grove in Mana-
tee County and fed seriously on the young and tender foliage,
buds and blossoms. The insect is uncommon in Florida. There
were previously no specimens in the collection of the Agric.
Experiment Station and Dr. W. S. Blatchley, who has collected
Coleoptera in Florida more extensively than any one else, re-
ports that he has never taken it. He lists it in his Scarabaeidae
of Florida (Florida Entomologist, Vol. XIII, No. 4, p. 71) as
having been reported from Florida by Schaupp (1878), and at
Enterprise by Dietz. J. R. W.








WINTER NUMBER 71

INSECTS OF THE WINTER, 1931-32*

As you all know, this has been a very unusual winter, very
warm and very dry, but with an unusually large number of
foggy mornings. As to how warm and how dry, the following
table will show. The data here given are for Gainesville, but
will serve to illustrate conditions which have been state wide.

Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.

Mean Temperature '31-32.............................. .. 67.8 68.7 65.0 67.3
Normal ........................ ............... ............. 62.4 58.1 57.8 58.4
Departure ..... ...... ......... .. ............ +5.4 +10.6 +7.2 +8.9
Precipitation '31-32.................... 1.41 .16 .49 .84 1.411 1.90**
Normal .................... ................. 5.65 2.84 2.04 3.22 3.31 2.87
Departure .................................------- -- -4.24 -2.68 -1.55 -2.38 -1.90 -.97

Comparing these temperatures with those normal for March
(63.7), and April (69.3), it will be seen that each of the months
from November to February inclusive were but a few degrees
(4.3 to .6) cooler than the average April and distinctly warmer
than the average March. Under these circumstances it is to be
expected that many insects which commonly do not make their
appearance until April should have appeared much earlier this
year. The following notes record several such insects.
Orthaea spp.-The Strawberry Pameras, which seldom give
any trouble until about April, have been very troublesome. Com-
plaints were received from the Plant City section in early Janu-
ary, and in late February they became very numerous in the
Alachua and Bradford County strawberry section. The most
common species was 0. vincta but 0. longulus was also noted.
Red Spiders were abundant, especially Tetranychus yothersi,
the Camphor Red Spider. Never has the writer seen the cam-
phor trees so severely and generally russeted as now. Practically
every tree shows the yellowish brown color characteristic of the
attacks of this spider mite.
The Six-spotted mite became rather common on grapefruit

*Given before Fla. Ent. Soc. J. R. Watson.
**All but .02 of this fell after the 19th of the month, on which date the
drought can be considered as being ended.








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


trees in many sections of the state as early as February. Dur-
ing the same month Mr. F. W. Walker reported the Purple Mite,
Paratetranychus citri, as common on satsumas as far north as
Monticello.
As usual during warm winters, the Celery Leaf Tyer, Phlyc-
taenia ferrugalis, became very abundant in the Sanford area
from December on. The Semi-tropical Army-worm, Xylomyges
eridania, was also abundant on the celery at Sanford and on golf
courses and other grassy places south of there. It was not noted
about Gainesville.
Cabbage worms were unusually troublesome all winter. They
were mostly the Cabbage Looper, Autographa brassicae, the
Cabbage Plutella (P. maculipennis), and the larvae of the Gulf
White (Pontia monuste), tho some Pontia rapae were seen. The
first two are usually rather common during a normal winter but
the Pontias are usually not noted before April.
The adults of the Pecan Twig Girdler (Oncideres cingulata)
were taken as late as early January.
Perhaps the most unusual of all was the discovery of newly
emerged moths of the Velvet Bean Caterpillar (Anticarsia gem-
matllis). The earliest previous date of the taking of this moth
in Florida was April 28 on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. This
year they were seen at Gainesville and Citra on March 4. Dur-
ing most winters this insect is exterminated over most of Flor-
ida, starved out by the killing of its host plants, velvet beans,
kudzu, Cannavalia, Soy Beans, and peanuts, which are all very
sensitive to frost.t This is the first winter that this insect has
been definitely known to survive anywhere in Florida, tho doubt-
less it frequently, if not usually, overwinters in extreme south
Florida. That it was able to survive this winter as far north as
Gainesville is doubtless due to the fact that no killing frost has
occurred and volunteer plants of its hosts have been available
for food.
Entomogenous fungi have been more active than during any
previous winter we have known. The Red Aschersonia (A. aley-
rodis Webber) and the Brown Whitefly .Fungus, Aegerita web-
beri Fawcett, have been producing spores. The scale-infesting
fungi, especially the Red-Headed Scale-Fungus, Sphaerostilbe
aurantiicola (B. et Br.) Petch, the White-Headed Scale-Fungus,
Podonectria coccicola (E. et E.) Petch, and the Black Scale-Fun-
tBull. 130, Fla. Agric. Exp. Sta.








WINTER NUMBER


gus, Myriangium duriae Mont., have also been unusually active.
It is not so uncommon for these fungi to undergo considerable
development during the winter.
Especially active has been the common fungus (Empusa fre-
senii Now.) of the Green Citrus Aphid (Aphis spiraecola
Patch). Our experience has heretofore been that a warm Janu-
ary, which induces considerable new growth on citrus trees, has
usually caused a heavy infestation of aphids the following
spring. But this year it has not done so. This is partly due to
drought, as is shown by the fact that there are more aphids in
irrigated groves and in localities that received somewhat more
rain, but the main factor has been the prevalence of this fungus.
This Empusa is normally active during the summer and is one
of the main factors in controlling the aphid during the summer
but is usually of little consequence in the early spring. In the
spring of 1926 it brought the aphid under control in April but
this has been the earliest date recorded heretofore.
The unusual development of these entomogenous fungi is un-
doubtedly due to the unusual number of warm foggy mornings
which has characterized this winter.

MINUTES OF THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
February 26, 1932
The meeting was called to order by President Byers at 4
o'clock P.M. The following members of the Society were present:
Dr. Berger, Professor Watson, Professor Dickey, Mr. Bratley,
Dr. Tissot, Mr. Merrill, Mr. Calhoun, Dr. Byers, and Professor
Creighton. There were three visitors present: Mr. Chester,
Mr. Mulrennan, and Mr. Holland.
Dr. Byers read a letter from Dr. Johanssen, of Cornell, who
asked that Dr. Byers attempt to arouse the interest of the mem-
bers of this Society in the trip to Europe for the meeting of The
International Congress, to be held in Paris, during the summer
of 1932. Anyone desiring information concerning this matter
may obtain same by writing to the Secretary of the Society.
President Byers then called for the report of the Business
Manager.
As is customary, the officers for the ensuing year were
elected: President, Dr. Tissot; Vice-President, Dr. Berger; Busi-
ness Manager, Mr. Bratley; Member of the Executive Commit-








THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST


tee, Dr. Byers; Editor of THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST, Profes-
sor Watson; Assistant Editor of THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST,
Dr. Berger.
The paper of the evening was by Professor Watson on the
influence of the present abnormal winter on insect life.
JOHN. T. CREIGHTON, Sec'y.


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