Trichocereus as a Potential Nursery Crop in Southern Arizona, With Discussion of the Opuntia Borer (Cerambycidae: Moneilema gigas) as a Serious Threat to its Cultivation

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/609067
Title:
Trichocereus as a Potential Nursery Crop in Southern Arizona, With Discussion of the Opuntia Borer (Cerambycidae: Moneilema gigas) as a Serious Threat to its Cultivation
Author:
Crosswhite, Carol D.; Crosswhite, Frank S.
Affiliation:
Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum; University of Arizona
Publisher:
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Journal:
Desert Plants
Rights:
Copyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.
Collection Information:
Desert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.
Issue Date:
1985
Abstract:
Southern Arizona and southern California are economically competing regions with regard to production of ornamental cacti and succulents for sale throughout the United States. Economics of field -production vs greenhouse- production are discussed for both regions. Comparatively few cacti and succulents are field -produced in Arizona because few ornamental selections have been located which can economically be produced in the open considering the rigors of the desert environment. The Golden Torch Cactus (Trichocereus spachianus (Lem.) Ricc.) represents a promising nursery crop for field production in southern Arizona but has four seemingly unrelated problems. These problems are all shown to result from damage to Trichocereus by a single species of Cerambycid beetle, with damage to the cactus occurring throughout the life cycle of the beetle. Despite such an intimate relationship between beetle and Trichocereus, and although the beetle seems more destructive to Trichocereus than to native North American cacti, the beetle, far from proving to be an Argentinian introduction like Trichocereus, actually belongs to the genus of native Opuntia Borer (Moneilema), associated with Cholla and Prickly Pear in North America since the classic observations by Thomas Say on Major Long's 1819 -20 expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Although the present article is thought to be the first report of damage to Trichocereus by Moneilema, the degree to which we have found Trichocereus in Arizona to be infested suggests a rather long- standing condition. Specifically, we report Moneilema gigas LeConte to cause the following pathologic conditions in Trichocereus spachianus in Arizona: 1) bacterial and fungal rot of deep internal tissues, 2) external chewing disfiguration by adult beetles, 3) sporadic growth spurts making disfiguring constrictions of the stem, and 4) hollowing out of stems by boring larvae. Possible reasons for the virulence of Moneilema gigas in attacking Trichocereus are discussed. With the knowledge that four major problems associated with Trichocereus cultivation in Arizona actually result from infestation by a single beetle species, and with the possibility of controlling this insect pest, commercial field -production of the cactus in southern Arizona may finally prove economically rewarding.
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0734-3434

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCrosswhite, Carol D.en
dc.contributor.authorCrosswhite, Frank S.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-11T21:11:14Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-11T21:11:14Zen
dc.date.issued1985en
dc.identifier.issn0734-3434en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/609067en
dc.description.abstractSouthern Arizona and southern California are economically competing regions with regard to production of ornamental cacti and succulents for sale throughout the United States. Economics of field -production vs greenhouse- production are discussed for both regions. Comparatively few cacti and succulents are field -produced in Arizona because few ornamental selections have been located which can economically be produced in the open considering the rigors of the desert environment. The Golden Torch Cactus (Trichocereus spachianus (Lem.) Ricc.) represents a promising nursery crop for field production in southern Arizona but has four seemingly unrelated problems. These problems are all shown to result from damage to Trichocereus by a single species of Cerambycid beetle, with damage to the cactus occurring throughout the life cycle of the beetle. Despite such an intimate relationship between beetle and Trichocereus, and although the beetle seems more destructive to Trichocereus than to native North American cacti, the beetle, far from proving to be an Argentinian introduction like Trichocereus, actually belongs to the genus of native Opuntia Borer (Moneilema), associated with Cholla and Prickly Pear in North America since the classic observations by Thomas Say on Major Long's 1819 -20 expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Although the present article is thought to be the first report of damage to Trichocereus by Moneilema, the degree to which we have found Trichocereus in Arizona to be infested suggests a rather long- standing condition. Specifically, we report Moneilema gigas LeConte to cause the following pathologic conditions in Trichocereus spachianus in Arizona: 1) bacterial and fungal rot of deep internal tissues, 2) external chewing disfiguration by adult beetles, 3) sporadic growth spurts making disfiguring constrictions of the stem, and 4) hollowing out of stems by boring larvae. Possible reasons for the virulence of Moneilema gigas in attacking Trichocereus are discussed. With the knowledge that four major problems associated with Trichocereus cultivation in Arizona actually result from infestation by a single beetle species, and with the possibility of controlling this insect pest, commercial field -production of the cactus in southern Arizona may finally prove economically rewarding.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherUniversity of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)en
dc.rightsCopyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.sourceCALS Publications Archive. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.titleTrichocereus as a Potential Nursery Crop in Southern Arizona, With Discussion of the Opuntia Borer (Cerambycidae: Moneilema gigas) as a Serious Threat to its Cultivationen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentBoyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretumen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.identifier.journalDesert Plantsen
dc.description.collectioninformationDesert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.en_US
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