A large stand of defoliated aspen visible from across the valley.
In the last two weeks there have been numerous reports of aspen defoliation in the Goldstream Valley on the north side of Fairbanks. An area approximately 50 acres in size has been heavily defoliated by the caterpillar, large aspen tortrix (Choristoneura conflictana (Walker)). Brief, intense outbreaks are common throughout the range of aspen, and typically last 2-3 years before collapsing. These outbreaks can grow to cover thousands of acres. The larvae tie together leaves with webbing and feed on the plant tissue. They will web other species of plants and feed on them if they run out of available aspen foliage. Although the forest can look very grim, leafless and covered in webbing, the trees will often create a second flush of leaves later in the summer. Historically there has been little long-term damage to the aspen trees associated with past outbreaks.
The aspen were completely defoliated shortly after bud break by the large aspen tortrix.
With few aspen leaves left to feed on, the larvae have been descending from the canopy and webbing understory vegetation to feed upon, including spruce, alder, birch, and roses.
The article appeared in this month’s issue of Entomological News, available at the URI below.
Charles R. Bartlett, Stephen W. Wilson, Derek S. Sikes. 2015. First New World Record of Paradelphacodes paludosus (Flor 1861) (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea : Delphacidae) in Alaska. Entomological News 124(5):370-372.
See the job announcement at the URI below. It closes on April 6.
The March 2015 Newsletter of the Alaska Entomological Society is now available at the URI below.
In this issue:
- First record of a cluster fly (Calliphoridae: Pollenia) in Alaska
- What is a specimen? What should we count and report when managing an entomology collection?
- Moths land on Murkowski’s desk—Senate Resolution 70
- Two new Lepidoptera host plant relationships
- The DNA barcoding UAMU Project: Testing the insect identification power of DNA barcoding technology
- Review of the eighth annual meeting
The article (URI below) includes interviews with Glenn Juday and Derek Sikes about forest insects, mosquitoes, and yellow jackets.
The Alaska Entomological Society invites members of the Alaska Entomological Society to submit a proposal to the annual Kenelm W. Philip Entomology Research Award.
Announcement including details:
The annual forest health conditions report provided by Forest Service R10, Alaska Region is available online (see link to pdf below). The conditions report contains, but is not limited to, information pertaining to forest insects in the state.
“The primary goal of this report is to summarize monitoring data collected annually by our Forest Health Protection team. The report helps to fulfill a congressional mandate (The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, as amended) that requires survey, monitoring, and annual reporting of the health of the forests. This report also provides information used in the annual Forest Insect and Disease Conditions in the United States report.”
Forest Health Conditions in Alaska-2014
Kathryn Daly has set up a mailing list (URI below) for the Alaska Lepidoptera Club, a continuation of Ken Philip’s work on the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey.