Distribution of Picture-Winged Flies (Diptera: Ulidiidae) Infesting Corn in Florida

Gaurav Goyal, Gregg S. Nuessly, Dakshina R. Seal, John L. Capinera, Gary J. Steck, Kenneth J. Boote

Abstract


The picture-winged fly Euxesta stigmatias Loew (Diptera: Ulidiidae) has been a serious pest of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) in Florida since 1930. Several other species in the family are known to infest corn grown in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Surveys were conducted throughout Florida to evaluate species richness and distribution of corn-infesting Ulidiidae. Adults were sampled with sweep nets and reared from fly larvae-infested corn ears collected from representative corn fields in 16 and 27 counties in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Four Ulidiidae species were found in corn fields using both sampling techniques. Euxesta eluta Loew and Chaetopsis massyla (Walker) were found throughout the state on field and sweet corn. Euxesta stigmatias was only found in Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties on field and sweet corn. Euxesta annonae (F.) was found in sweet corn in Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach Counties, but field corn was not sampled in these counties. Euxesta eluta, E. stigmatias, and C. massyla were collected from corn throughout the corn reproductive stage. Raising adults from fly larvae-infested ears provided the best method for assessing rates of ear infestation and species richness. Sweep netting did not provide reliable information on the presence or species composition of ulidiid species infestation. We report for the first time E. annonae and E. eluta as pests of corn in Florida and the USA.

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