The distribution and importance of cabbage stem flea beetle (Psylliodes chrysocephala (L.)) on winter oilseed rape in England


Graham, C.W.; Alford, D.V.

Plant Pathology 30(3): 141-145

1981


Following several cases of serious damage to winter oilseed rape by cabbage stem flea beetle in eastern and southeastern England, surveys and observations throughout England 1974-1979 showed that infestations occurred mainly in Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire; the heaviest attacks also occurred in these areas. Minor infestations were recorded locally in 13 other counties. No attacks occurred elsewhere in England.

Pl.
Path.
(1981),
30,141-145
The
distribution
and
importance
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
(Psylliodes
chrysocephala
(L.))
on
winter
oilseed
rape
in
England
by
C.
W.
GRAHAM*
and
D.
V.
ALFORDt
Agricultural
Development
and
Advisory
Service,
*Coley
Park,
Reading
RGI
6DT
and
f
Brooklands
Avenue,
Cambridge
CB2
2DR
SUMMARY
Following
several
cases
of
serious
damage
to
winter
oilseed
rape
by
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
in
eastern
and
south-eastern
England,
surveys
and
observations
throughout
England
from
1974
to
1979
showed
that
infestations
occurred
mainly
in
Buckinghamshire,
Cambridgeshire,
Huntingdonshire
and
Northamptonshire;
the
heaviest
attacks
also
occurred
in
these
areas.
Minor
infestations
were
recorded
locally
in
13
other
counties.
No
attacks
occurred
elsewhere
in
England.
INTRODUCTION
The
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
(Psylliodes
chrysocephala
(L.))
(Coleoptera:
Chryso-
melidae)
breeds
on
various
overwintering
brassica
crops
and
weeds.
In
England
severe
damage
has
occurred
occasionally
on
cabbage
(Roebuck,
1936;
Ministry
of
Agriculture,
Fisheries
and
Food
(MAFF)
Monthly
Summaries
of
Insect
and
Allied
Pests
occurring
in
England
and
Wales,
1961-65)
and
the
pest
was
recorded
on
unspecified
brassica
crops
in
several
areas
of
England
and
Wales
each
year
from
1938
to
1943
(Anon.,
1954).
Seed
crops
of
turnip,
swede
and
oilseed
rape
were
badly
damaged
in
East
Anglia
during
the
winter
of
1949/50
(Williams
and
Carden,
1961).
In
recent
years,
severe
damage
has
been
reported
locally
on
winter
oilseed
rape
(Alford
and
Gould,
1975)
but
attacks
on
other
crops,
including
turnip
and
swede
seed
crops,
have
been
few
and
unimportant
(MAFF
Seasonal
Pests
Sum-
maries).
Winter
oilseed
rape
is
an
increasingly
important
crop
in
England,
the
area
grown
having
increased
steadily
from
c.
7000
ha
in
1972
to
c.
74,000
ha
in
1979
(Fig.
1).
Spring
rape,
which
formed
a
large
proportion
of
the
crop
in
the
south
of
England
before
1976
and
which,
because
of
its
season
of
growth,
escapes
damage
by
both
adults
and
larvae
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
has
been
almost
entirely
re-
placed
by
winter
rape,
thereby.
increasing
the
possibility
of
attacks
on
rape
by
this
pest.
Recent
studies
have
been
made
on
the
biology
and
control
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
in
England
(Alford,
1977,
1979a).
The
present
paper
describes
the
qualitative
and
quantitative
distribution
of
the
pest
on
winter
oilseed
rape
in
England
from
1974
to
1979,
with
particular
reference
to
the
east
and
south-east
where
nearly
400
winter
rape
crops
were
examined.
METHODS
Data
on
the
distribution
and
incidence
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
were
obtained
from
surveys
of
crops
(mainly
by
examining
plants
for
larvae
between
late
autumn
and
early
spring),
from
examination
of
plant
samples
collected
by
plant
patho-
logists
of
the
Agricultural
Development
and
Advisory
Service
(ADAS)
for
disease
Now
at
ADAS,
Burghill
Road,
Bristol
BSIO
6NJ.
©
Crown
copyright
1981
141
142
C.
W.
Graham
and
D.
V.
Alford
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.
s
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2
4
5
Fig.
1.The
distribution
of
oilseed
rape
in
England
in
1979.
Each
dot
represents
500
ha.
assessments,
and
from
samples
submitted
to
ADAS
plant
clinics
for
pest
or
other
diagnosis;
ADAS
Agricultural
Advisory
Officers
also
examined
crops
or
collected
plant
samples
during
farm
visits.
Whenever
possible,
crop
samples
consisted
of
10-25
plants
taken
at
random
from
a
traverse
across
the
field.
Most
results
are
based
on
the
numbers
of
larvae
found
in
plants
during
their
winter
feeding
period.
RESULTS
The
recorded
distribution
of
the
pest
throughout
the
study
period
is
shown
in
Fig.
2
on
a
10
x
10
km
square
basis.
The
county
distribution
is
summarised
in
the
Table.
1974/75
Heavy
infestations
of
larvae
occurred
in
Buckinghamshire,
Cambridgeshire
and
Huntingdonshire.
Minor
infestations
also
occurred
widely
in
these
areas
and
in
Northamptonshire.
Rape
crops
surveyed
in
neighbouring
counties
were
not
infested
and
no
reports
of
attacks
were
received
from
other
parts
of
England.
The
most
severe
damage
occurred
in
Buckinghamshire
and
Huntingdonshire,
several
crops
suffering
serious
yield
losses
from
infestations
of
up
to
40
larvae/plant.
In
Bucking
-
hamshire,
120
ha
of
rape
on
one
farm
were
ploughed
in
following
damage
by
infestations
of
up
to
23
larvae/plant.
6
5
4
3
2
0
Cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
on
winter
oilseed
rape
143
19
A
6.4
AC
A
AA
1
'1
^
6,
A
ALAAAA
,,,
AA
666116,L16
A
A
6
,Ann
AA
A
&AAA
w
,,,,
A
A•
AAAAA6
A
A
66
A
L
,
Sf?
t,r
-
4
6
Fig.
2.
The
distribution
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
on
winter
oilseed
rape,
1974-79.0
Pest
present.
A
Severe
damage
by
larvae
recorded
in
one
or
more
fields.
1975/76
Infestations
were
common
in
the
four
counties
in
which
infestations
had
occurred
in
1974/75
and
were
found
for
the
first
time
in
Berkshire,
Cambridgeshire,
Oxfordshire
and
north
Kent
(the
last
was
in
isolated,
very
minor
infestation).
Damage
was
generally
slight
and
no
economic
losses
were
reported.
Adults
were
noticeably
more
numerous
in
Northamptonshire
at
harvest
(July
1976)
than
in
the
previous
year.
1976/77
No
apparent
changes
in
distribution
were
observed
and
no
economic
damage
was
reported.
/977/78
Additional
distribution
records
were
obtained
from
Berkshire
and
Oxfordshire
and
the
first
outbreaks
were
found
in
Bedfordshire,
Hertfordshire
and
Warwickshire.
Infestations
were
less
widespread
in
Warwickshire
(seven
out
of
18
sampled
fields
infested)
than
in
Bedfordshire
(14
out
of
17
sampled
fields
infested).
Severe
damage
occurred
on
a
few
crops
in
Northamptonshire
and
adults
were
again
very
nunlo
us
at
harvest
(July
1978).
6
5
3
2
144
C
W.
Graham
and
D.
V.
Alford
TABLE
The
area
of
oilseed
rape
in
counties
of
England
in
1979
and
the
pest
status
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
in
1
9
74-79
ADAS
region
Counties
Area
of
rape
(ha)
Pest
status
Northern-
N.
Yorkshire
(part)
1861
Absent
Cleveland
)
Cumbria
)
Durham
)
675
Absent
Northumberland
)
Yorkshire
&
Humberside
5768
Absent
Lancashire
N.
Yorkshire
(part)
945
Absent
S.
Yorkshire
1206
Absent
W.
Yorkshire
541
Absent
Lancashire
)
Greater
Manchester
)
85
Absent
Merseyside
)
East
Midlands
Lincolnshire
7946
Local
Northamptonshire
6231
Widespread
Nottinghamshire
3922
Local
Leicestershire
3283
Local
Derbyshire
249
Local
West
Midlands
Warwickshire
1756
Local
Herefordshire
&
Worcestershire
474
Absent
Shropshire
390
Absent
Cheshire
)
Staffordshire
)
440
Absent
W.
Midlands
)
Eastern
Cambridgeshire
including
Huntingdonshire
6414
Widespread
Essex
5385
Rare
Suffolk
3763
Rare
Bedford
shire
3296
Local
Norfolk
2732
Absent
Hertfordshire
2722
Local
South
Eastern
Oxfordshire
2992
Local
Kent
2333
Rare
Hampshire
2223
Absent
Buckinghamshire
1390
Local
Berkshire
919
Local
W.
Sussex
520
Rare
Surrey
)
E.
Sussex
)
320
Absent
South
Western
Gloucestershire
1476
Absent
Wiltshire
1305
Absent
Avon
)
Cornwall
)
Devon
)
383
Absent
Dorset
)
Somerset
)
1
9
781
79
Minor
attacks
were
reported
on
a
few
farms
in
Essex
and
Suffolk
but
no
other
evidence
of
spread
was
obtained.
In
September
1978,
feeding
by
adults
on
the
foliage
of
early-sown
crops
caused
severe
damage
on
a
few
farms
in
Cambridgeshire.
Huntingdonshire
and
Northamptonshire
and
a
few
fields
had
to
be
resown.
How.
ever,
the
level
of
larval
damage
was
generally
very
low.
DISCUSSION
According
to
MAFF
records
of
crop
pest
incidence
and
distribution
(based
on
Cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
on
winter
oilseed
rape
145
reports
submitted
by
ADAS
advisory
entomologists
and
by
members
of
the
Plant
Health
and
Seeds
Inspectorate),
there
were
only
seven
outbreaks
of
cabbage
stern
flea
beetle
on
UK
crops
from
1959
to
1973.
These
occurred
in
Essex
(1),
Lincoln-
shire
(2),
Nottinghamshire
(1),
Pembrokeshire
(2)
and
Suffolk
(1)
and
related
to
broccoli
(1),
cabbage
(5)
and
cauliflower
(1);
serious
damage
occurred
only
on
three
cabbage
crops.
By
contrast,
from
1974
to
1979,
infestations
of
this
pest
were
reported
much
more
frequently
and,
except
for
a
few
cases
on
turnip
and
swede
crops
in
Lincolnshire
and
broccoli
in
Cambridgeshire,
all
occurred
on
winter
oilseed
rape.
However,
despite
the
wide
distribution
of
winter
rape
in
England,
the
infesta-
tions
were
very
localised
and
the
pest
was
not
found
in
many
rape-growing
counties
in
England
(Table)
although
numerous
sites
were
examined
by
ADAS
entomologists
and
other
observers.
Cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
appears
to
be
increasing
its
geographical
range
on
winter
rape
in
England,
but
its
true
status
as
a
pest
is
not
clear.
Severe
crop
damage
has
been
uncommon
and
has
occurred
only
in
Buckinghamshire,
Cambridgeshire,
Huntingdonshire
and
Northamptonshire
and
in
fields
bordering
these
counties.
Such
damage
was
reported
in
1974/75
(when
up
to
40
larvae/plant
were
found
on-
some
farms)
and
also
in
1977/78,
but
relatively
few
crops
in
this
small
geographical
area
were
involved.
Throughout
the
study
period
there
were
few
reports
of
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
damaging
other
overwintering
brassica
crops.
Oilseed
rape
may
be
especially
suitable
for
larval
feeding
and
development,
as
the
crop
is
immature
during
the
winter.
However,
there
are
no
data
showing
that
rape
is
a
preferred
host
although
the
adults
feed
readily
on
the
young
plants
and
lay
numerous
eggs
in
association
with
them
(Alford,
1979a).
In
recent
years,
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
has
received
much
publicity
as
a
pest
of
winter
oilseed
rape
but
the
situation
needs
to
be
kept
in
perspective.
Most
infested
rape
crops
appear
capable
of
withstanding
attacks,
at
least
so
long
as
other
growing
conditions
are
adequate
and
pest
numbers
are
not
large.
Cabbage
stem
flea
beetle
is,
however,
potentially
important
and,
on
the
European
continent,
chemical
treat-
ment
is
thought
justified
when
infestations
reach
two
or
three
larvae/plant
(Anon.,
1980).
Gamma-HCH
gives
some
control
of
adults
and
larvae
but
has
sometimes
peen
used
unnecessarily
when
infestations
were
very
slight
or
even
absent
(Alford,
1979b)
or
when
damage
by
dipterous
leaf
miners
(Phytornyza
or
Scaptornyza
species)
has
been
mistakenly
attributed
to
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle.
Continued
monitoring
should
help
to
prevent
unnecessary
use
of
pesticides
and
should
improve
our
awareness
of
any
changes
in
the
status
of
this
potentially
serious
winter
rape
pest.
We
thank
the
laboratory
and
field
staff
and
other
colleagues
in
the
ADAS
Science
and
Agriculture
Services
who
took
part
in
surveys
and
examined
plant
samples.
REFERENCES
ALFORD,
D. V.
(1977).
Chemical
control
of
the
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle,
Psylliodes
chryso-
cephala,
on
winter
oil-seed
rape.
Annals
of
Applied
Biology
85,
369-74.
ALFORD,
D.
V.
(1979a).
Observations
on
the
cabbage
stem
flea
beetle,
Psylliodes
chrysocephala,
on
winter
oil-seed
rape
in
Cambridgeshire.
Annals
of
Applied
Biology
93,
117-23.
ALFORD,
D.
V.
(1979b).
Review
of
insecticide
and
fungicide
usage
on
field
crops
other
than
cereals.
Summary
of
a
meeting
held
on
19
February
1979,
pp.
19-21.
British
Crop
Protection
Council.
ALFORD,
D.
V.
and
GOULD,
H.
J.
(1975).
Surveys
of
pest
incidence
on
oil-seed
rape
in
the
U.K.
Proceedings
of
the
8th
British
Insecticide
and
Fungicide
Conference,
1975,
2,
489-95.
ANON.
(1954).
Report
on
insect
pests
of
crops
in
England
and
Wales
1938-1943.
Technical
Bulletin
of
the
Ministry
of
Agriculture
and
Fisheries,
London,
no.
5.
ANON.
(1980).
Les
insectes
du
colza
d'hiver,
CET1OM
80.
Paris:
CET1OM.
ROEBUCK,
A.
(1936).
Fluctuations
of
insect
populations:
field
observations.
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of
Applied
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23,
441-4.
iLLIAMS,
J.
J.
W.
and
CARDEN,
P.
W.
(1961).
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stem
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East
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