Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Foliage Feeders in Peanuts

Posted by romeethredge on July 10, 2013

We are finding some foliage feeding caterpillars in peanuts this week. It is a mixture of lots of types in most fields. I have seen a good many Beet Armyworms, some Heliothis,(corn earworms), some loopers,  some yellow striped armyworms, and a few cutworms.  I have not seen a field that needed treating, but I’ve been close to recommending it. I have heard that several fields have needed treatment. We have good vine growth now in most fields, so that is a plus.

We also have lots of parasitism and some predation going on. That helps with control of the bad guys and it makes us hesitate to use chemical control measures unless absolutely necessary so that they can keep working in the field.

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The white “fuzzy rice” we found on this peanut leaf is the pupal stage of the Cotesia wasp. It is a parasite of caterpillars. The wasp lays eggs into the caterpillar and the larvae eat inside the caterpillar and the caterpillars usually don’t feed much during this phase. The larvae then spin these cocoons to stay in until they come out as the adult wasp.

This large Beet Armyworm was nearby and I believe he too has been parasitized by the looks of him. This is good biological control of these pests.

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Here we have a lacewing immature we found in a peanut field yesterday, that is a good predator of insect eggs and will even eat small caterpillars, too. They have sickle-shaped jaws that contain tubes with which they can inject         prey with a paralyzing venom and then suck out the body fluids. Sometimes called Aphid Lions, they can consume over 200 aphids or other prey per week.

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