Partitioning Yield Loss on Yellow Squash into Nematode and Insect Components


  • R. McSorley
  • V. H. Waddill


The effect of a contplex of several insect and nematode pests on yield of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was examined in two field tests in southern Florida. Applications of permethrin for insect control and oxamyl primarily for nematode control plus some insect control were made alone and in combination to achieve differential reduction of various insect and nematode components contributing to yield loss. The effect of these components on yield was further analyzed by multiple regression. Yield losses in weight of small fruit to nematode and insect pests together were estimated at 23.4% and 30.4% in each of the two tests, respectively. In the first test, this loss was attributed to the melonworm, Diaphania hyalinata, while in the second test, it was attributed to D. hyalinata and the nematodes Quinisulcius acutus and particularly Rotylenchulus reniforrnis. D. hyalinata accounted for further losses of 9.0% and 10.3%, respectively, from direct damage to the fruit. Despite the presence of low levels of Diabrotica balteata, Liriomyza sativae, and Myzus persicae, yields were little affected by these pests. Prediction of yield loss by multiple regression analysis was more accurate when both insect and nematode populations were present in the plots than when nematodes alone were present. Key words: green peach aphid, banded cucumber beetle, multiple pest control, reinfi)rm nematode, vegetable leaf-miner, permethrin, oxamyl.