Western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a native, univoltine pest of corn and dry beans in North America. The current degree-day model for predicting a specified percentage of yearly moth flight involves heat unit accumulation above 10°C after 1 May. However, because the moth's observed range has expanded into the northern and eastern United States, there is concern that suitable temperatures before May could allow for significant S. albicosta development. Daily blacklight moth catch and temperature data from four Nebraska locations were used to construct degree-day models using simple or sine-wave methods, starting dates between 1 January and 1 May, and lower (-5 to 15°C) and upper (20 to 43.3°C) developmental thresholds. Predicted dates of flight from these models were compared with observed flight dates using independent datasets to assess model performance. Model performance was assessed with the concordance correlation coefficient to concurrently evaluate precision and accuracy. The best model for predicting timing of S. albicosta flight used simple degree-day calculations beginning on 1 March, a 3.3°C (38°F) lower threshold, and a 23.9°C (75°F) upper threshold. The revised cumulative flight model indicated field scouting to estimate moth egg density at the time of 25% flight should begin when 1,432 degree-days (2,577 degree-days °F) have accumulated. These results underscore the importance of assessing multiple parameters in phenological models and utilizing appropriate assessment methods, which in this case may allow for improved timing of field scouting for S. albicosta.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4