Title page for ETD etd-03116182972760

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Platt, Jason Owen
Author's Email Address donna@vt.edu
URN etd-03116182972760
Title The Use of Buckwheat Border Habitats to Attract Natural Enemies of Cucumber Beetles in a Cucurbit Agroecosystem
Degree Master of Science
Department Horticulture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kok, Loke T.
Welbaum, Gregory E.
Caldwell, John S. Committee Chair
  • acalymma vittatum
  • agroecosystem
  • celatoria spp.
  • chauliognathus pennsylvanicus
  • cucurbita pepo
  • malaise trap
Date of Defense 1997-02-07
Availability unrestricted

The potential control of cucumber beetles,

Acalymma vittatum (Fab.) and Diabrotica

undecimpunctata howardi (Barber) (both

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) two major

pests of cucurbits, was assessed in a

cucurbit agroecosystem by using

buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum

Moench) border habitat to attract the

natural enemies, Celatoria diabroticae

(Shimer) and Celatoria setosa (Coquillett)

(both Diptera: Tachinidae) and

Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Deg.)

(Coleoptera: Cantharidae). Five different

plants were seeded in the border and

buckwheat dominated. Four natural enemy

groups were also included as indicators of

the attractiveness of the floral border: The

Order Diptera; the Families Tachinidae and

Syrphidae of Diptera; and the Order

Hymenoptera. In 1995-1996, rows of

squash, Cucurbita pepo (L.) var. melopepo

(Alef.) 'Seneca Prolific', and cucumbers,

Cucumis sativa (L.) 'Arkansas Littleleaf',

were planted perpendicular to floral

border habitats. Sticky traps and modified

Malaise traps on transects at intervals from

the border were used to monitor insect

numbers. Insect counts and yields of

cucurbits were analyzed using analysis of

variance with contrasts for linear and

quadratic effects and regression model

fitting. Borders were strongly attractive to

Diptera and moderately attractive to C.

pennsylvanicus, Syrphidae, Tachinidae, and

Hymenoptera. C. setosa and C. diabroticae

counts were too low to analyze and borders

habitats did not have any meaningful effect

on yields. The border conserved

populations of Diptera, leatherwings,

Hymenoptera, and tachinids on some dates

and may be useful with economic thresholds

for pest management because of an

observed gradient of insect movement.

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