Insect Associations and Switchgrass Biomass Production [+ prairie cordgrass insect comments]

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1 Insect Associations and Switchgrass Biomass Production [+ prairie cordgrass insect comments] Paul J. Johnson 1, Veronica Calles Torrez 1,3 and Arvid Boe 2 1 Insect Biodiversity Laboratory, and 2 Department of Plant Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD; 3 currently Dept. of Entomology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

2 Plant Damaging Switchgrass Associates Blastobasis repartella, Switchgrass moth (Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae [Blastobasidae]) larva feeds on tiller buds, proaxis, basal internodes Described 1910; Associated with host 2004; biology in 2010, 2013 Chilophaga virgati, Switchgrass gall midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) larva feeds on nodes at peduncle base Described 2011; associated with host 2008; biology in 2012 Calamomyia inustorum, Black-sheath gall midge (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae); Described and associated in 1916 Steneotarsonemus sp., (Acari: Tarsonemidae) feed on leaf sheath adaxial cells; Discovered 2012

3 Switchgrass moth Blastobasis repartella Calles Torrez, V. et al Infestation Rates and Tiller Morphology Effects by the Switchgrass Moth on Six Cultivars of Switchgrass. Bioenergy Research, 6: Erratum: Bioenerg. Res. (2013). Calles Torrez, V Biological and Agronomic Aspects of Two Insect Predators of Switchgrass. M.S. thesis, SDSU, viii+67 p. 10% tiller infest % biom. loss % tiller bud loss/rhizome

4 We are seeing a greater and greater presence of this pest [switchgrass gall midge] in recent years and are beginning to gather intel in an effort to make a game plan to combat the little bugger if necessary. Evan Cross, research manager, Ernst Conservation Seed, Meadville, PA

5 Switchgrass Gall Midge Chilophaga virgati 0-100% tillers/plant 60% biomass reduction Malformed Inflor 100% seed loss per tiller Induced bivoltine Extended activity period in response to multiple cultivar mixtures Calles Torrez, V Biological and Agronomic Aspects of Two Insect Predators of Switchgrass. M.S. thesis, SDSU, viii+67 p.

6

7

8 `Cave in Rock 35-40% infested by tiller count

9 `Cave-in-Rock Impact 4 yr old exemplar from Aurora, SD, September 2012 Tillers: N = 38 Normal = 21 55% Midge infested = 17 45% 35% biomass reduction % infestation rate among 10 genotypes - Boe & Gagné (2011)

10 `Sunburst Impact 4 yr old exemplar from Aurora, SD, September 2012 Tillers: N = 112 Normal = 50 45% Midge infested = 18 16% Smut infested = 7 6% Moth or abiotic = 37 33%

11 Parasitoids of Switchgrass Associates Bassus difficilis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitoid of B. repartella larva; associated 2008 Platygaster chilophagae (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) parasitoid of C. virgati larva; discovered 2012, described 2013 Aprostocetus sp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitoid of C. virgati larva; discovered 2012 Quadrastichus sp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitoid of C. virgati larva; discovered 2012 Johnson, P.J. et al A new species of Platygaster Latreille (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae Parasitizing Chilophaga virgati Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Zootaxa, 3630(1):

12 Grain Bin Sample During Harvest EcoSun Prairie Farm; 28 Sept 2012 Seed: Switchgrass Location: grain bin on combine Sample size: 1 pinch Contamination: 14 larvae, C. virgati 2 dead 14% 12 viable 86%

13 Plant Damaging Prairie Cordgrass Associates Resapamea stipata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larva feeds at base of first internode; described 1875 Aethes spartinana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larva feeds on caryopsis, and culm core described & associated with host 1916 Ischnodemus falicus (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) all stages on leaves and culms; described 1832 Stenodiplosis n.sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) larva feeds on caryopsis; discovered 2012 Steneotarsonemus n.sp. (Acari: Tarsonemidae) feeds on leaf sheath adaxial cells; discovered 2012

14 Resapamea stipata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Four-lined borer

15 Resapamea stipata Four-lined borer

16 Prairie Cordgrass Seed Loss Aethes spartinana larvae bore through 4+ spikelets, feed on multiple caryopses Stenodiplosis n.sp. larvae feed on individual caryopses

17 Resapamea stipata Impact

18 Combined Resapamea, Aethes & Ischnodemus damage

19 Stenodiplosis n.sp. Tentative Interpretation 1. Autumnal larvae overwinter. 2. Spring emerging oviposits in developing spikelets. 3. Summer larva feeds on embryonic caryopsis. 4. Summer adults emerge during anthesis period 5.??? Crop effects: reduced seed production. Summer larval feeding concurrent with larvae of Aethes spartinana. Together, probably account for reports of poor seed set in cordgrass.

20 Arthropod Associates of Biomass Feedstock Grasses Host Insect Associate Trophic Status Switchgrass Blastobasis repartella Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae Chilophaga virgati Diptera: Cecidomyiidae Lepidoptera: Crambidae undetermined Stenotarsonemus n.sp. Acarina: Tarsonemidae Calamomyia inustorum, Diptera: Cecidomyiidae Borer: proaxis, basal internode, tiller buds on rhizome Tissue feeding: Meristematic tissues at peduncle base Borer: apical and preapical internodes Cell feeding: leaves & sheaths Tissue feeding: leaf sheath Prairie cordgrass Resapamea stipata Lepidoptera: Noctuidae Ischnodemus falicus Hemiptera: Lygaeidae Aethes spartinana Lepidoptera: Tortricidae Stenodiplosis n.sp. Diptera: Cecidomyiidae Stenotarsonemus n.sp. Acarina: Tarsonemidae Tissue feeding: proaxis & basal internode Phloem feeding: leaves Developing caryopsis & culm: embryo & endosperm, then borer Developing caryopses: embryo & endosperm Cell feeding: leaves & sheaths

21 Acknowledgements U.S. Department of Energy and the North Central Sun Grant Initiative; the Severin-McDaniel Insect Research Collection at South Dakota State University

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