Blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana Johnson (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a key pest of rabbiteye blueberries, Vaccinium ashei Reade, in the southeastern United States. In an attempt to develop monitoring protocols for D. oxycoccana, we evaluated the effect of visual stimuli using four colored (yellow, white, green, and blue) rectangular sticky traps in rabbiteye and southern highbush, V. corymbosum L. x V. darrowi Camp plantings in north-central Florida. We recorded no significant differences among colored traps; however, visual analysis highlighted the presence of another Cecidomyiid species in the field, Contarinia acetosellae Rübsaamen, which complicated midge identification. In a separate study, three sampling techniques (unbaited yellow sticky boards, bud emergence, and bud dissection) were evaluated for their effectiveness in detecting D. oxycoccana populations in rabbiteye and southern highbush plantings. In a heavily infested rabbiteye planting, emergence methods detected significantly more D. oxycoccana adults from floral buds compared with sticky boards or bud dissection sampling methods. There were no significant differences among sampling methods for detecting adults in leaf buds. In larval samples, emergence and dissection methods were not significantly different for detecting D. oxycoccana in either floral buds or leaf buds. In our less infested southern highbush planting, we recorded no differences among sampling methods for detecting adults in either floral buds or leaf buds. Bud dissection detected significantly more larvae in floral buds compared with emergence methods. Overall, the only method capable of detecting D. oxycoccana eggs is bud dissection, which may aid in early detection of blueberry gall midge infestations.
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