Entomology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version

August 1983


Published in Environmental Entomology, Volume 12, Issue 4, August 1983, pp. 1078 - 1082. © 1983 Entomological Society of America. Used by permission.


Emergence of overwintered sorghum midges, Contarinia sorghicola (Coquillett), was monitored during 1979, 1980, and 1981. Differences in emergence times and distributions among years was a function of soil temperature and rainfall. A heat unit accumulation model incorporating a rainfall adjustment factor was developed which described adult emergence in the spring. Adult midges initiated emergence after accumulating 431 centigrade heat units (based on mean daily to-cm soil temperatures starting 1 April) above a threshold temperature of 14.8°C, whereas, 679 and 977 heat units were required for 50 and 95% emergence, respectively. Sorghum midges that overwintered in johnsongrass spikelets emerged after similar heat unit accumulations as midges that overwintered in sorghum spikelets. The time that midges initiated diapause one year had little effect on the timing or distribution of emergence the following spring. No midges terminated diapause and emerged as adults during the same season that diapause was initiated. Of the diapausing midges, 23% failed to emerge until the second spring and 2.6% emerged the third spring, but times and distributions of emergence were similar for all years.

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