The pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), has been a major pest of pea, Pisum sativum L., in eastern Washington and northern Idaho since its introduction to the region in the early 1970s. Eggs are deposited in the spring on the soil surface and first instars hatch and move to pea root nodules, where larvae feed before they pupate and adults emerge in mid- to late summer. No-tillage practices are known to reduce pea leaf weevil colonization in pea, but the effects of tillage on larval densities and subsequent adult emergence have not been examined. During 2005, 2006, and 2007, we compared densities of colonizing adult and immature pea leaf weevils on pea plots grown using conventional tillage and no-tillage. In 2005 and 2006, emergence of adult pea leaf weevil was monitored in the same plots. Densities of colonizing adult and immature pea leaf weevil were significantly higher in conventional tillage plots. Larvae in conventional tillage were further along in development than larvae in no-tillage plots during June and July. Densities of emerging adult pea leaf weevil were significantly greater from conventional tillage than no-tillage plots. Based on densities of colonizing and subsequent emerging adults, survival of weevils from egg through adult was greater in conventional tillage plots, Soils under no-tillage are cooler, resulting in later emergence of the pea crop and delayed root nodule development, possibly affecting the ability of first-instar pea leaf weevil to locate host plant roots. Our results indicate no-tillage fields are less suitable for pea leaf weevil colonization and survival than conventional tillage fields.
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Vol. 103 • No. 3