Determining potential of crop residue in diverse production systems to increase strawberry sap beetle populations in strawberry fields

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Strawberry sap beetle is ranked by New York strawberry growers as the most serious insect pest in strawberries. The beetle is a generalist herbivore and has been captured on various crops other than strawberry. Adults are thought to overwinter primarily in wooded areas surrounding strawberry fields. The purpose of the this project was to identify food sources that SSB can use as alternate hosts, determine if SSB overwinter within strawberry fields to any significant extent, and develop a mark and recapture technique that can be used to quantify SSB movement between crops in the field. Female SSB oviposited while feeding on all of the 8 food sources offered, although initial oviposition occurred approximately 6 days later with apple compared to the other food sources. It seems that all foods provided are suitable for SSB reproduction to occur. SSB were caught in traps in woods bordering strawberry fields about 1.5 weeks earlier than in the strawberries and a steady progression of beetles from the woods into the fields was seen in at least two of the fields, indicating that most beetles do not overwinter in the strawberry field. Fluorescent resin marks remained visible on the adult beetles for at least 24 h after marking, making the technique a viable option for quantifying SSB movement in the field over short periods of time. The availability of a mark and recapture technique will allow investigation of the impact of alternate food sources in the field on SSB population dynamics in future field seasons.
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New York State IPM Program
Agricultural IPM; Strawberries; Berries; Fruits
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