First report of the alfalfa blotch leafminer (Diptera: Agromyzidae), and selected parasites (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA

W. D. Hutchison, P. K. O'Rourke, D. W. Bartels, E. C. Burkness, J. C. Luhman, J. Heard

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6 Scopus citations


Alfalfa blotch leafminer, Agromyza frontella, has been a serious pest of alfalfa, Medicago sativa, in the northeastern U.S. and in eastern Ontario, Canada. Until recently, the western edge of the A. frontella distribution in the U.S. was limited to eastern Ohio. We document for the first time, the occurrence of A. frontella in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Alfalfa stems damaged by A. frontella, based on adult feeding punctures, obvious blotched leafmining or the presence of larvae, were first found in 3 northern Minnesota counties during October, 1994. Infested counties included Lake of the Woods, Cook and Lake, all bordering western Ontario, Canada. In 1995, A. frontella was again found in Cook and Lake counties, where 99-100% of the stems, and 18-35% of the trifoliates/stem, contained larvae or exhibited obvious feeding damage. In 1996, following a more expanded survey, a total of 11 and 5 counties, in Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively, showed some level of A. frontella feeding damage (stem samples ranged from <5 to 100% infested). Based on additional counties surveyed 11 October, 1996, where A. frontella was not found, we now have a reasonable estimate of the southern edge of the distribution in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A total of 2 and 6 A. frontella adults were identified from sweep-net samples taken from fields with obvious feeding damage during 1995 (Lake Co.) and 1996 (Cook Co.), respectively. Three eulophid (Hymenoptera) parasites were reared from A. frontella-infested alfalfa stems collected during October, 1994 in Cook Co., Minn., including: Diglyphus begini, D. pulchripes, and Diglyphus sp., prob. isaea, all of which are new records. Our hypothesis is that A. frontella moved into Minnesota from Ontario Canada, via alfalfa hay purchased by northern Minnesota growers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalGreat Lakes Entomologist
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1997


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