Larvae of various Tortricid moths (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) are well-known pests to fruit and nut growers, but less considered in vegetables. Here is a quick list of some economically important species in this group:

  • Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
  • Fruittree Leafroller (Archips argyrospila)
  • Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella)
  • Filbertworm Moth (Cydia latiferreana)
  • Strawberry Fruit Worm aka Omnivorous Leaftier (Cnephasia longana)

These small, bland colored moths are nearly undetectable in the landscape, but their larvae can cause billions of dollars of economic damage. Leaves are rolled or tied to provide shelter for developing larvae. Crop damage from this group can occur ‘from root to fruit’.

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Another attention-grabber headline this month is the hatch of periodical cicadas in the eastern US. “Brood IX” is a 17-year assemblage that was expected, but there are “stragglers” from other groups of 13-year cicadas that are actually 4 years early. This year is unusual because the groups consist of many different species (all in genus Magicicada) and appear to be overlapping geographically. Confused yet? Me too, so I refer you to http://magicicada.org/magicicada/ if you’re interested.

Sounds are produced by specialized structures called tymbals, and can exceed 100 decibels! If you’ve never been lucky(?) enough to hear one, enjoy this video clip:

  • Cicadas are not ‘locusts’ ( which are a behavioral adaptation of grasshoppers). They’re more closely related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.
  • Common cicadas have life cycles between 3 and 5 years. Nymphs (immatures) live underground and feed on tree roots.
  • If you see a green cicada, it is not a periodical species.
  • Emergence in the PNW may be related to rainfall: Chatfield-Taylor, W. and Cole, J.A. 2017. Living rain gauges: cumulative precipitation explains the emergence schedules of California protoperiodical cicadas. Ecology 98: 2521-2527.

We do, in fact, have cicadas in Oregon, but they do not occur at nuisance levels. There are ~ 30 species in our region; one of the most encountered is Okanagana oregona (pictured at right).

QUICK FACTS

  • 1 1/4″ to 2″ long with a striped abdomen, orange head, and black eyes
  • Predator of many large-bodied insects (grasshoppers, beetles, etc.)
  • Potential serious threat to honeybees
  • Ground-nesting, active from May to August
  • Detected in August 2019 British Columbia (eradicated); 4 confirmed sightings in Washington state to date; 0 confirmed sightings to date in Oregon.

REGIONAL RESOURCES

Although AGH may have just hit headlines, there are a number of regional experts who can offer advice, answer questions, and field suspected reports of sightings. Please reach out if you are concerned. Early detection is key to limit the effects of invasive species.

“It is certainly something to be … watchful for … [but]… I don’t think there’s a need for panic at all” ~ Eric Lee-Mader

Lee-Mader is a pollination conservation expert with the Xerces Society and has worked with AGH in Japan. Quotes extracted from his 4 MAY 2020 interview with KGW8 News, available here.