Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wheathead armyworm - True or False

As wheat harvest roars into full gear, I continue to moniter the wheathead armyworm traps - not for lack of anything to do, but we are curious if or when we may get a second flight of adult moths. Our plan is to continue to collect weekly through mid September.

Peter Landolt, USDA ARS entomologist, has raised an interesting question about the identification of the armyworm that we have been seeing in our local fields. Silvia Rondon and I will be working closely with Peter to confirm that we have been collecting moths that are not the true wheat head armyworm but a "false" wheathead armyworm.

The two are closely related, but the one that we collected this year Peter has identified as Faraonta terrapicathlis not Faronta diffusa as we previously reported. This photo shows a picture of the moths we have collected earlier this summer. Several other moth species have been collected, and we are making a collection of the moths, and other insects attracted to our traps.

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