Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trapping weevils and saving monarchs

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Ensuring the monarch butterfly's survival by saving its milkweed habitat could result from U.S. Department of Agriculture studies initially intended to improve detection of boll weevils with pheromone traps.

A monarch butterfly. These beautiful insects feed on milkweed, a plant under attack from milkweed stem weevils.
Credit: Photo by Kim Kaplan

Ensuring the monarch butterfly's survival by saving its milkweed habitat could result from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies initially intended to improve detection of boll weevils with pheromone traps.

Related Articles


Charles Suh and his colleagues at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Areawide Pest Management Research Unit in College Station, Texas, have found a pheromone formula that is attractive to a major milkweed pest, the milkweed stem weevil.

The discovery stems from research originally designed to help improve pheromone lures used in Texas to monitor the boll weevil, a major pest of cotton. The lures haven't always been effective, so the researchers worked with the pheromone manufacturer to improve the pheromone lure used in the traps.

The researchers set up traps along roads in Texas to compare the standard and experimental lures for attracting boll weevils. They checked the traps once a week from mid-May to mid-June, replacing the lures every other week.

They soon found that the experimental lures were attracting a type of weevil distinctly different from boll weevils. The weevils were identified as milkweed stem weevils, Rhyssomatus lineaticollis. The researchers initially discounted the number of milkweed stem weevils found in the traps, but it soon became obvious that more milkweed stem weevils were being captured than boll weevils. Overall, four times more milkweed weevils were captured in traps with the experimental lures than with standard lures.

Monarch butterflies are often admired for their eye-catching wings and transcontinental migrations. Conservationists concerned about the potential loss of milkweed habitat have recommended planting milkweed in yards and gardens. Adult monarch butterflies feed on the nectar of various wild flowers when they migrate from the Midwestern United States to the mountains of central Mexico. But their larvae feed on milkweed, making the plant a necessity for the butterfly's lifecycle.

The discovery, reported in Southwestern Entomologist, could be used to develop a trap-based system for detecting milkweed weevil populations, monitoring their movements, and helping conserve rare types of milkweed.

Read more about this research in the October 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct12/weevils1012.htm

ARS is the USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Dennis O'Brien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Trapping weevils and saving monarchs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001124759.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2012, October 1). Trapping weevils and saving monarchs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001124759.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Trapping weevils and saving monarchs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001124759.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins