University of California

Flight habits of the alfalfa seed chalcid, Bruchophagus roddi Guss. (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae)


Frank E. Strong
O. G. Bacon
J. R. Russell

Authors Affiliations

Frank E. Strong was Assistant Professor of Entomology and Assistant Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Davis; O. G. Bacon was Professor of Entomology and Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Davis; J. R. Russell was Laboratory Technician II, Department of Entomology, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 35(1):1-12. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n01p001. September 1963.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


The flight habits of the alfalfa seed chalcid, Bruchophagus roddi Guss., were studied using natural field populations and reared insects which were radioactively marked. A minimum temperature of 70°F and a minimum light intensity of 0.2 Langley was found necessary for sustained flight. In a favorable host area, the chalcids dispersed only a few hundred yards within a few days. The movement of chalcids in a breeze less than about 5 mph was both upwind and downwind. In stronger winds, movement was predominantly downwind. The data obtained suggest that when a host area dries or otherwise becomes a nonhost area, the chalcids fly upwards where they encounter the stronger winds and rapidly leave the area. Marked chalcids were recovered 4,100 feet downwind of a release point; others were observed to survive 16 days in the field.

Literature Cited

Bacon O. G., Riley W. D., Burton V. E., Sarquis A. V. Clover seed chalcid in alfalfa. California Agriculture. 1959. 13(7):7 and 11

Butler G. D., Hansen H. L. The parasites of the clover seed chalcid in the United States. Pan Pacific Entomol. 1958. 34:223-229.

Dietrick E. J., Schlinger E. I., van den Bosch R. A new method for sampling arthropods using a suction collecting machine and modified Berlese funnel separator. J. Econ. Entomol. 1959. 52:1085-1091.

Hansen H. L. The host relationships of the seed chalcid, Bruchophagus gibbus (Boheman) (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) 1955. p.96. University of California Ph.D. dissertation. (Typed.2)

Neunzig H. H., Gyrisco G. G. Host relationships of seed chalcids reared from birdsfoot trefoil. J. Econ. Entomol. 1958. 51(3):409-410.

Schneider F. Dispersal and migration. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 1962. 7:223-242. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.07.010162.001255 [CrossRef]

Sorenson C. J. The alfalfa-seed chalcis fly in Utah, 1926-29 inclusive. Utah Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. 1930. 218:36

Strong F. E. Sampling alfalfa seed for clover seed chalcid damage. J. Econ. Entomol. 1960. 53(4):611-615.

Laboratory studies of the biology of the alfalfa seed chalcid Bruchophagus roddi Guss. (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Hilgardia. 1962a. 32:229-249. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v32n03p229 [CrossRef]

Studies on the systematic position of the Bruchophagus gibbus complex. (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 1962b. 55:1-4.

The reaction of some alfalfa to seed chalcid infestation. J. Econ. Entomol. 1962c. 55(6):1004-1005.

Urbahns T. D. The chalcis-fly in alfalfa seed. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers Bull. 1914. 636:10

The clover and alfalfa seed chalcis-fly. U. S. Dept. Agr. Bull. 1920. 812:20

Warner R. M. Radioactive tagging for tracing movements of Drosophila 1959. pp.35-37. California Fig Inst. 13th Ann. Res. Conf. Proc.,

Strong F, Bacon O, Russell J. 1963. Flight habits of the alfalfa seed chalcid, Bruchophagus roddi Guss. (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Hilgardia 35(1):1-12. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n01p001
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu