The apparent climatic limitations of the alfalfa weevil in California
AuthorsA. E. Michelbacher
Authors AffiliationsA. E. Michelbacher was Junior Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Division of Entomology and Parasitology, Berkeley, California; John Leighly was Associate Professor of Geography, University of California, Berkeley.
Hilgardia 13(3):101-139. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n03p101. April 1940.
PDF of full article, Cite this article
Abstract does not appear. First page follows.
The alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica Gyll.,4 was first discovered in lowland middle California in 1932. The extent and direction of its spread from its original areas are shown on the map in figure 1. The expansion of the area of infestation has been slight in view of the rapidity of spread of the insect that has been reported from other parts of the United States. Along some parts of the periphery of the area of infestation a slow rate of spread may possibly be the result of absence of suitable and abundant host plants. But in one sector of the periphery of the infested area—in the northwestern San Joaquin Valley—the boundary cuts across a continuous area devoted to the cultivation of alfalfa, where any insect preying on alfalfa might be expected to be disseminated rapidly and continuously from field to field. As may be seen from figure 1, no such spread has been observed. There appears to be no good reason why the southward spread of the insect is checked here unless it encounters a climatic barrier. Southward in the San Joaquin Valley summer temperatures become steadily higher; and all investigations of the alfalfa weevil indicate that high temperatures check the activity of the adult weevil and eventually inhibit its activity altogether.
The existence of an apparent climatic limit to the southward spread of the weevil in the San Joaquin Valley, and the reasonable conclusion that the climatic barrier encountered is high summer temperature, are the considerations that have prompted the investigation reported in this paper. Since the weevil is of rather recent introduction in California, it appeared that some light might be thrown on this question by a study of the temperatures obtaining in its original habitat in the Old World, with particular attention to the southern limit of its distribution there.
Bodenheimer F. S. Die Schädlingsfauna Palästinas. 1930. Berlin, Germany: Verlag Paul Parey. 438p. 139 figs. (Hypera variabilis Hbst., p. 331-32 fig. 123.)
Capiomont M. G. Révision de la tribu des Hypérides, Lacordaire, et en particulier des genères Hypera Germ., Limobius Schönh., et Coniatus (Germ.) Schönh. renfermant la description de plusieur genères nouveaux et de 85 espèces nouvelles. Ann. Soc. Ent. France (ser. 4). 1868. 37:73-286.
Cook W. C. The distribution of the alfalfa weevil (Phytonomus posticus Gyll.). A study in physical ecology. Jour. Agr. Res. 1925. 30:479-91. 12 figs.
Csiki E. Curculionidae : Subfam. Hyperinae. Schenkling, S. Coleopterorum Catalogue. Part 137 1934. pp.1-66. (Phytonomus brunneipennis p. 40.) W. Junk, Berlin, Germany.
Fletcher T. B. Report of the proceedings of the second entomological meeting, held at Pusa 5th to 12th, Feb 1917. p.340. (Hypera variabilis p. 207.) Calcutta, India.
Hagan H. R. The alfalfa weevil, Phytonomus posticus Fab. Utah Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir. 1918. 31:1-8.
Lépiney J. de, Mimeur J. M. Notes d’entomologie agricole et forestière du Maroc 1932. p.195. Mémoires Soc. Sci. Nat. Maroc. no. 31.
Lucas H. Exploration scientifique de l’Algérie. 1849. 2:Coléoptères. 590p. (Phytonomus variabilis p. 426.) Paris, France.
Martelli G. Primo contributo alla biologia del Phytonomus variabilis Herbst. Bol. Lab. Zoöl. Gen. e Agr. R. Scuola Super. Agr. Portici. 1911. 5:226-30.
Michelbacher A. E. Effect of Bathyplectes curculionis on the alfalfa-weevil population in lowland middle California. Hilgardia. 1940. 13(3):81-99. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v13n03p101 [CrossRef] DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v13n03p101 [CrossRef]
Michelbacher A. E., Essig E. O. Field observations on the alfalfa weevil in middle California. California State Dept. Agr. Mo. Bul. 1935. 24:221-31.
Newton J. H. The alfalfa weevil in Colorado. Colorado Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1933. 399:1-19. 10 figs.
Nicholson A. J. The role of competition in determining animal populations. Australian Council Sci. &; Indus. Res., Jour. 1937. 10(2):101-6.
Reeves G. I. The alfalfa weevil investigation. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1917. 10(1):123-31.
Reeves G. I. The control of the alfalfa weevil. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers’ Bul. 1927. 1528:1-22. 15 figs.
Reeves G. I., Miles P. B., et al. The alfalfa weevil and methods of controlling it. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers’ Bul. 1916. 741:1-16. 7 figs.
Schoenherr C. J. Synonymia insectorum. Genera et species Curculionidum. 1834. 2: Paris, France: Roret. 671p. Phytonomus brunneipennis, p. 381-82
Snow S. J. Effect of ovulation upon seasonal history in the alfalfa weevil. Jour Econ. Ent. 1928. 21(5):752-61. 6 figs.
Sweetman H. L. Field studies of the physical ecology of the alfalfa weevil. Wyoming Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1929. 167:1-31.
Sweetman H. L., Wedemeyer J. Further studies of the physical ecology of the alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal). Ecology. 1933. 14(1):46-60. DOI: 10.2307/1932576 [CrossRef]
Willcocks F. C. A survey of the more important economic insects and mites of Egypt. The Berseem weevil, Hypera variabilis. Herbst. Sultan. Agr. Soc., Tech, Sect. Bul. 1922. 1:43-44.
Yakhontov V. V. Listovoi liutsernovyi slonik ili fitonomus (Phytonomus variabilis Hbst.) (The alfalfa weevil or phytonomus [Phytonomus variabilis Hbst.]). Sredneaziatskii nauchnoissledovatel’skii institut po khlopkovodstvu. 1934. Tashkent. Obedinenie gosudarstv. izdatel’stv. Sredneaziatskoe otdelenie. 240p.
Also in this issue:The rural-urban fringe problem: Farm, suburban, and city interests have interdependence in decisions on expenditure of public money for public services
Hybrid cotton breeding program: Limited quantity of cotton hybrids produced for scientific use but seed production on commercial scale not yet possible
Stem borer found on safflower: Infestation discovered in planting at Davis may be first recorded attack on safflower by known pest of other plants
Lime-induced chlorosis studied: Physiology of disorder investigated to learn role of malonic acid and possibility of a block in organic acid metabolism
New disease resistant tomatoes: Improved strains of varieties Pearson and Red Top developed in plant breeding program at Davis and released to seedsmen
Blackline in walnuts: Delayed failure of unions killing many walnut trees in central coastal counties
Walnut aphid investigations: Evaluation of new and old aphicides object of experiments conducted in northern California test plots in 1958 season
Ponderosa pine planting stock: Studies indicate that time of lifting and length of storage before replanting influence survival of ponderosa seedlings
Ammonium bicarbonate toxicity: Root injury occurred from within few hours to several weeks in solution culture tests with citrus, avocado, and soybeans
Use of sorptive dusts on fleas: Control of fleas on cats and dogs achieved by treatment with dusts that are easily applied and nontoxic to pets or people
Migration habits of: The Ladybird Beetle
Effect of Bathyplectes curculionis on the alfalfa-weevil population in lowland middle California