Thursday, May 15, 2014

BugGuide

Our friend Doug sent us an insect guide to use, it is called BugGuide.  We were discussing our personal agronomy libraries and links and resources.  Right about all I am finding is some Hessian Flies, white grub worms and a few black cutworms.

"Ever since the first European explorers arrived in the American continent, plants and animals have been arriving along with them. It is estimated that more than two thousand (2,273) species of insects and arachnids have set residence in this continent, according to the North American Non-Indigenous Arthropod Database of the USDA or NANIAD.

 Some were brought intentionally, others arrived on their own. With the increase in traveling and international commerce, the numbers of introduced species probably keeps growing even faster than in earlier times. Some of them become invasive, wreaking havoc in local ecosystems, not just the ones that were introduced accidentally, but also some that were brought intentionally for a variety of reasons and later on managed to escape and spread beyond control. More insects have been introduced intentionally than otherwise, especially to serve as biological controls. It is estimated that over 1700 species have entered this way; most of them are parasitoids or predators of pests.

 Among the earliest pests that arrived in colonial times probably were the bed bug Cimex lectularius, cockroaches and the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Probably the earliest insects that were brought intentionally were the domestic bee Apis mellifera and the silk worm Bombyx mori. The silk wormI remember the lab in China) is of no concern to us because, after thousands of years of domestication, it has lost its ability to survive on its own, and it is not found in nature. The honey bee on the other hand is a very resourceful and adaptable creature that has escaped domestication repeatedly and set up housekeeping in tree holes, other natural cavities and even hollow walls, much to the delight of bears and other honey-eating animals. Nowadays it is probably established in most states and there is no way to tell the impact that populations of domestic bees have had on native bees and on native flowers.

 In addition to the comprehensive list issued by NANIAD there are a few other resources on the internet that may be of interest here:
A report issued by USDA Forest Service in 1994 lists 368 immigrant plant-eating insects. See:Immigrant Phytophagous Insects: an Annotated List.

 Invasive.org, (a joint project of: The Bugwood Network, USDA Forest Service and USDA APHIS PPQ, the University of Georgia – Warnell School of Forest Resources and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Dept. of Entomology) lists 152 species of invasive insects. See Invasive insects.

 A report of the University of Florida Invasive Insects (Adventive Pests Insects) in Florida lists 150 species of insects and 35 species of arachnids considered invasive in that state. Note that some of them were introduced to Florida from some other states, not from abroad.

 The same thing applies to Invasive Species Resource List provided by the University of Pennsylvania.

 Cornell University has a list of some insects used as biocontrols. See Biocontrols. Many of them, but not all have been introduced from other countries.

 Perhaps the most complete list of species intentionally introduced as biocontrols is ROBO – Releases of Beneficial Organisms in the United States and Territories. It also includes a list of “target” species, the hosts of prey of the beneficial ones; most of them are undesirable non-natives.

 Here, at BugGuide we have approximately 80 species of introduced insects and spiders (as of September 2005) and the numbers keep growing. I think that a list of non-native insects and arachnids with links to the corresponding pages would be of great value. I hope that everybody helps adding species that I missed or new ones as they are added to the guide. I hope to get your help with taxonomic issues, such as the proper sorting of families within larger taxa.

This list includes only non-native species featured in BugGuide in which there is a high degree of certainty of having been introduced. Others have been omitted, but will be added if somebody confirms that they are not native. For each species there is a link to the pertinent page with additional information if available."

Entomology is the only course work I was not able to work into my course of study for my Bachelor's and Master's degrees.  Biology, agronomy, economics, engineering and teaching classes took up all my time.  I have to ask for help on insects but with sound soil chemistry, biology and physics, I have never had a major insect problem.

Ed Winkle

7 comments:

  1. You didn't take Ento 101? Then what are you waiting for? Do you think the generic term "white grub" will cut it when it comes to identify our food of the next century?
    And you forgot to add the rising subspecies for most classes of pests, ssps btphilus (Monsanto). ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was invited to teach it at local college last year! Oh Lord, I am not worthy! I know I would learn more than the students, but....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Submit a photo to Bugguide.net and someone in the know will often reply with an I.D. within minutes. If it's an immature form you don't recognize, somebody will. A great source of information.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Muddy. I will try that. I had flea like insects all over me yesterday leaving the fields before the tornado hit in Cedarville. I saw some flea beetles but these were more like fleas swarming.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes me wonder, how can we trap those really light swarming insects you can barely see? A spray and someway to catch them? I have used white paper and sweep nets.

      Delete
    2. Pheromone traps? But that assumes that you know which insect you want to trap already, to get the proper pheromone.
      Otherwise glue flypaper could work well too, in different colors such as yellow, in case the insects have different color sensibility.

      Delete
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