The bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth)) is a polyphagous, native pest of numerous deciduous and evergreen ornamental plants. Bagworm larvae were used to investigate host plant susceptibility among ten species and cultivars of maples that are economically important and commonly encountered in landscapes in the eastern United States. Data analyses from 48-hour choice assays, conducted in the laboratory during 2000 and 2001, indicated that differences existed among maples for bagworm feeding preferences and host plant susceptibility. Results from the 48-hour trials were not as accurate as seasonal no-choice assays, however. No-choice assays during both seasons quantified resistance among maples that limited larval bagworm survival and development. Measurements of larval feeding injury demonstrated resistance in paperbark maple (Acer griseum (Franch.) Pax) and trident maple (A. buergerianum Miq.) when compared with other maples. Laboratory results were corroborated during 2001 by a no-choice field assay, in which early instar bagworm larvae performed well on the majority of maples. In contrast, paperbark maple and trident maple were resistant to bagworm feeding, while ‘Autumn Blaze’ Freeman maple (A. x freemanii E. Murray), a hybrid cross obtained by breeding A. rubrum with A. saccharinum, showed moderate resistance.

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Author notes

2Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Systems, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.