Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Beneficial Insects in Native Perennial and Pasture Borders in Franklin County, Kentucky

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

This research was conducted on the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Ky. Sticky traps 15 cm x 15 cm were set in native perennial and pasture border rows to compare diversity and abundance of insects. Native perennial border rows contained 16 species of plants. There were five grasses and eleven species of flowering plants including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), New England aster (Aster novea-anglica), side-oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), slender mountain mint (Pycantheum tennuifolium), little bluestem (Schizacharium scoparium), and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). Pasture borders were a mixture of grasses and broad leaf weeds such as johnsongrass, foxtail, fescue, orchard grass, and pigweed. Four sticky traps were deployed in each border 25 m long X 2 m wide. Traps were collected and analyzed for 16 weeks. Insects were identified to family and species when possible. Big eyed bugs and syrphid fly adults were the most abundant insects caught overall. Asian lady beetles, seven spotted lady beetles, green lacewings, spotless lady beetles, minute pirate bugs and pink lady beetles were not as abundant, but still exhibited differences in numbers between the two habitats. Results indicated that this research should continue for several more growing seasons to determine if age and maturity of the border plots influence beneficial insect numbers.

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Beneficial Insects in Native Perennial and Pasture Borders in Franklin County, Kentucky

This research was conducted on the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Ky. Sticky traps 15 cm x 15 cm were set in native perennial and pasture border rows to compare diversity and abundance of insects. Native perennial border rows contained 16 species of plants. There were five grasses and eleven species of flowering plants including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), New England aster (Aster novea-anglica), side-oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), slender mountain mint (Pycantheum tennuifolium), little bluestem (Schizacharium scoparium), and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). Pasture borders were a mixture of grasses and broad leaf weeds such as johnsongrass, foxtail, fescue, orchard grass, and pigweed. Four sticky traps were deployed in each border 25 m long X 2 m wide. Traps were collected and analyzed for 16 weeks. Insects were identified to family and species when possible. Big eyed bugs and syrphid fly adults were the most abundant insects caught overall. Asian lady beetles, seven spotted lady beetles, green lacewings, spotless lady beetles, minute pirate bugs and pink lady beetles were not as abundant, but still exhibited differences in numbers between the two habitats. Results indicated that this research should continue for several more growing seasons to determine if age and maturity of the border plots influence beneficial insect numbers.