Jacobs Journal of Agriculture

Abundance of Liriomyza trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae) and its Parasitoids on Five Vegetable Crops in Southern Florida

*Dakshina R Seal
Department Of Agriculture, Tropical Research And Education Center, 18905 SW 280th St, Homestead, FL 33031, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Dakshina R Seal
Department Of Agriculture, Tropical Research And Education Center, 18905 SW 280th St, Homestead, FL 33031, United States
Email:dseal3@ufl.edu

Published on: 2018-07-26

Abstract

In southern Florida and elsewhere, the American serpentine leafminer, Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera: Agromyzidae), is one of the most destructive pests of snap beans Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Fabaceae), cucumbers Cucumis sativus L., squash Curcurbita pepo L. (both Cucurbitaceae), and tomatoes Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae). In tests with these crops and with cabbage, Brassica oleracea L. (Brassicaceae), we determined and compared numbers of individuals in different L. trifolii life stages, proportions of the larvae surviving to adulthood, and numbers of parasitoids. Highest numbers of L. trifolii mines, larvae, pupae, adults, and parasitoids were typically found on snap beans followed by cucumbers or squash, then often tomato, and tended to be lowest on cabbage. Beans appeared to be the most preferred crop with cabbage the least preferred. The most abundant parasitoid species was Opius dissitus Muesebeck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and adult parasitoid abundance seemed to generally depend on the abundance of its host, L. trifolii. For the means of dates in Tests 1 and 2, however, a higher percentage of the larvae survived to adulthood on cabbage than on the other crop species, and for means of dates in Test 1, a smaller percentage of larvae became adults on beans than on cabbage or tomato plants. A consistent occurrence with different life stages of L. trifolii on beans was that fewer insects were found on the last sample date compared with the initial three dates, and for the other crops, fewer insects appeared on the first or final on than the second or third sample dates.

Keywords

Leafminer; Snap Bean; Cucumber; Squash; Tomato; Cabbage

Introduction

Florida produces the highest acreage in the United States of snap beans, Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Fabaceae), with 44% of the total, and Miami-Dade County has the highest acreage among the 67 counties in Florida [1]. In addition to snap beans, four other commonly grown crops in southern Florida include cucumber Cucumis sativus L., squash Curcurbita pepo L. (both Cucurbitaceae), tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae), and cabbage Brassica oleracea L. (Brassicaceae). The American serpentine leafminer Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera: Agromyzidae), is one of the most destructive insect pest species attacking snap beans and is also a major or secondary pest of the other four crops [2,3]. The larvae cause major damage by tunneling between the upper and lower leaf surfaces and feeding on the mesophyll cells [1,4]. High L. trifolii infestations reduce the rates of photosynthesis and yields therefore potentially leading to serious economic losses [5,6]. Liriomyza trifolii feeds on more than 400 cultivated and wild plant species in more than 25 families and is found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions of North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceana, and Europe [4,7,8].