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Notes of Observations of Injurious Insects

Notes of Observations of Injurious Insects

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Excerpt from Notes of Observations of Injurious Insects: Report, 1880

The minimum of January is thus seen to be somewhat higher than at Kingsnorth, Kent, where Mr. Hart mentions his thermometer as registering several times below 10°, and higher also than at my own station, 68 feet above sea-level near Isleworth, where the min. reading for the month was 11°; here the days of rainfall in the whole period noticed were more numerous than at Lockerbie, occurring in the above-mentioned months, near Isleworth, respectively on 7, 20, and on 4 days. The temporary changes in the state of the weather were in some cases highly beneficial in clearing away insect attack; in a few instances they were favourable to increase. From various localities we have notes of the rains clearing the Turnip "Fly," and also the beetle, Gastrophysa polygoni, when injuring the Mangold crops in Shropshire: the benefit was both from washing down the insects and invigorating the plant-growth. Cabbage Butterflies, which appeared in great numbers on the coast of North Wales, near Llandudno, on the 26th of March, are noted from several places during the summer as occurring with, or immediately following, a duration of dry weather.

The Clouded Yellow Butterfly, Colias Edusa, and the Silver Y Moth, Plusia Gamma, which appeared respectively in such vast numbers in 1877 and in 1879, were in the first case scarcely represented; in the second but little noticed. The injurious beetles made no great appearance. Amongst injurious Hymenoptera the Gooseberry Sawfly, as usual, appeared almost in every locality where the simple means of prevention were not adopted of removing the surface-soil during the winter from under bushes which had been infested in the previous season. Wasps also have been an almost universal annoyance, reaching its height apparently near Dumfries, and the not distant locality of Glenarm, Antrim, in each of which places both ground and tree nests abounded to an extent that in the first made walking in the copses a matter of some risk from the number of nests suspended from the boughs, and in the second locality prevented the meadows being properly worked. Details of the species and numbers of nests observed are given, which space does not allow me here to insert. Other kinds of Hymenoptera, such as Gall Flies, and insects generally allied to the Wasps and Bees, do not appear to have been largely represented, unless by Humble Bees (Bombi) in some localities.

On the whole the weather appears to have been favourable to vegetation, and coincidently with this the amount of insect injury, with the exceptions noted, has been moderate.

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