Balsam Woolly Essay

599 Words3 Pages
Balsam Woolly Adelgid (BWA) (Adelges piceae) The balsam woolly adelgid can be found in quite a few places in North America. It originated from Europe and Asia and spread to Minnesota around the 1900’s – 1920’s. This very tiny insect was dispersed by wind, birds, deer, and humans, and continues to move (north) at a rate of 30 kilometers per year. It is mainly found in northeastern Minnesota in forests with hemlock and balsam trees and even in home landscaping, as well. The BWA population is rather big, it consists of 100 to 200 adelgid per square inch of bark in northeastern Minnesota. This species has a little different reproduction system than others. The balsam woolly adelgid’s reproductive strategy is asexual and only reproduces females. For its life cycle, it has three stages of metamorphosis – egg, nymph, and then adult. When it reproduces, it generally has only two generations per year. Also, of those generations there are typically between 50 and 300 eggs produced on the underside of the branches. The balsam woolly adelgid is a very small invasive sucking insect that you can find in coniferous forests. It is about 1 mm. long and is a dark purple to black color. The BWA also is nearly spherical and wingless. They produce a waxy wool-like material that covers the body and protects the adult and her eggs. It inserts its mouthparts into the bark of the tree and transforms, without molting into a flattened wax-fringed resting stage known as neosistens. This is the only stage that will survive the winter temperatures. How BWA gets its energy is that it sucks the sap from the base of the needles of the trees. As well as a biotic factor, some abiotic factors required to help the tiny insect are dead logs from infested stands to give it energy, wind to help move it to other trees, both sunlight and shade for foundation, and also oxygen to breathe. Another

More about Balsam Woolly Essay

Open Document