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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 20, Number 2 (1969) Megastigmus Specularis Walley Infests fir Seed from Canada to North Carolina

Megastigmus Specularis Walley Infests fir Seed from Canada to North Carolina

The chalcids (Megastigmus spp.) are serious pests of various kinds of seed in many parts of the world. In some years, 95 percent of the seed crop of Douglasfir and western true firs has been destroyed by these tiny parasites. Although entomologists in the South have been on the lookout for these pests while working with southern pine seed, none has ever been observed. A few years ago, because millions of fir trees were killed by the balsam woolly aphid in North Carolina, concern was expressed over the possible loss of a seed source for Fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Push) Poir.). When our investigations with Fraser fir seed began in 1964, the seed were found to be severely infested.1 Insects, which emerged from the seed, were submitted to the Systematic Entomology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1965 and identified by B. D. Burks as Megastigmus specularis Walley. Burks reported that specimens from balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) seed from Canada and New England south to Massachusetts were in the National Museum Collection. He believed it most desirable if we could determine the status of this insect in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Author(s): Charles F. Speers

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 20, Number 2 (1969)

Volume: 20

Number: 2