BIOLOGICAL CONTROL FOR SCALE INSECTS TO COME FROM FIELD RESEARCH
Scholarship recipients Crystal Elliott and Adam Zindel and their professor, Dr. Larry Zettler from Illinois College at Jacksonville, Illinois, were introduced at the July meeting of the Naples Orchid Society. Dr. Zettler’s sister, Dr. Jennifer Zettler, an entomologist, accompanied them. Research work they will be involved with may have benefits for Florida’s wild native orchids as well as domesticated hybrid plants grown by hobby and commercial growers.
Elliott and Zindel will be stationed at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge for the month of July and will be working with Larry Richardson, biologist with the refuge, and with Mike Owen, biologist with the Fakahatchee Strand State Park. They will be continuing field research on armored scale insects begun last year by Dr. Zettler’s students, Haleigh Ray and John McCormick., who were recipients of 2011 scholarships from the Naples Orchid Society. Results of that research were published in ‘Florida Entomologist’ and can be read on the NOS website at the link to the Florida Orchid Conservation Conference.
NOS’s mission is to promote the appreciation and cultivation of orchids as a hobby as well as dedication to preserving native Florida orchids and their habitats. “We are very glad to have a part in supporting this important study.” said Dr. Richard Pippen, member of the NOS Board and Scholarship Committee chairperson, “Results will be very meaningful to the orchid community, for both those who love their potted hybrid orchids and those who appreciate orchids in the wild. Last year, a small parasite was discovered in some of the scale insects’ bodies. This may have great implications for biological controls of the armored scales.” He added, “Dr. Zettler has urged NOS to be aware that SW Florida is a crucial area for the huge number and diversity of species of America’s native orchids in the wild. The research that is going on here will have an impact on orchids on an international level.”
~ by Kit Kitchen-Maran