Aphids and aphidophagous insects were monitored in a pecan orchard by
enumerating the insects collected on leaf samples and suction trap
samples. Season long monitoring of the pecan foliage revealed that the
aphid abundance prior to the late season outbreak on the leaves
increased to higher population levels than could not be explained by the
reproductive potential of the aphids. Concomitant season long sampling
of the air in the canopy indicated that fecund alate aphids were
continuously abundant in the air both before and between the outbreaks
on the leaves. The results have important implications for improving
scouting methods to predict aphid outbreaks and facilitate insecticide
applications for aphid control.
This study is the first attempt to sample the pecan tree canopy with a
suction trap and describe the seasonal long activity of three aphid
species and associated beneficial insects in the pecan tree canopy from
series of samples.
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Thanks to the USDA/NIFA for support through Hatch and regional research funds and to the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Pecans for funding and to Mr. Eric Goodwin for constructing the traps and Ms. Jamie Wilson for operating the traps.
The author declares that there are no conflicts of interests regarding the publication of this paper.