Thursday, 8 June 2017

Weekly Update (Jun 8, 2017; Wk 06) - Pea leaf weevil

Pea Leaf Weevil (Sitona lineatus– This week, weevil oviposition is predicted to be occurring across central and southern regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan.   

The PLW Blitz continues this week and features:
- The Insect of the Week from June 1st, 
- A NEWLY UPDATED Monitoring Protocol (Vankosky et al. 2017), AND
- The current Insect of the Week features a group of beetles recognized as general predators but one species is an egg predator associated with Pea leaf weevil.

Remember - Pea leaf weevils emerge in the spring primarily by flying (at temperatures above 17ºC) or they may walk short distances. Pea leaf weevil movement into peas and faba beans is achieved primarily through flight.  Adults are slender, greyish-brown measuring approximately 5 mm in length (Fig. 3, Left).  

The pea leaf weevil resembles the sweet clover weevil (Sitona cylindricollis) but the former is distinguished by three light-coloured stripes extending length-wise down thorax and sometimes the abdomen.  All species of Sitona, including the pea leaf weevil, have a short snout.  

Figure 3.  Comparison images and descriptions of four Sitona species adults including pea leaf weevil (Left).

Adults feed upon the leaf margins and growing points of legume seedlings (alfalfa, clover, dry beans, faba beans, peas) and produce a characteristic, scalloped (notched) edge (Fig. 4).  Females lay 1000 to 1500 eggs in the soil either near or on developing pea or faba bean plants from May to June.

Figure 4.  Scalloped notching along leaf margins of pea plant (Photo: L. Dosdall).

Biological and monitoring information related to pea leaf weevil in field crops is posted by the province of Alberta and a NEWLY UPDATED PPMN monitoring protocol is available!

Also refer to the pea leaf weevil page within the "Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide" - both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.  A review of this insect was published in 2011 in Prairie Soils and Crops by Carcamo and Vankosky.