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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Insect Ecology and Sustainable Systems for Insect Pest Management in the Southeastern Region

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Title: Incorporating a sorghum habitat for enhancing lady beetles (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) in cotton

Authors
item Tillman, Patricia
item Cottrell, Ted

Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 29, 2011
Publication Date: January 16, 2012
Repository URL: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/psyche/2012/150418
Citation: Tillman, P.G., Cottrell, T.E. 2012. Incorporating a sorghum habitat for enhancing lady beetles (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) in cotton. Psyche. DOI: 10.1155/2012/150418.

Interpretive Summary: Lady beetles are important predators of cotton insect pests. The objective of this 2-yr on-farm study was to examine the ability of a sorghum trap crop in combination with stink bug capture traps to promote lady beetles in cotton in Georgia. The C-7 lady beetle, the convergent lady beetle, the Asian lady beetle, and the pink lady beetle were found in sorghum over both years. Percentage composition of lady beetles was similar in sorghum and cotton and in stink bug capture traps. In both years, number of lady beetles was higher on cotton with sorghum trap crops than on control cotton on most sampling weeks. Our results indicate that sorghum was a source of lady beetles in cotton, and thus incorporation of a sorghum habitat in farmscapes with cotton has great potential to promote predation of insect pests by lady beetles in cotton.

Technical Abstract: Lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are important predators of cotton insect pests. The objective of this 2-yr on-farm study was to examine the ability of a sorghum trap crop with Euschistus spp. pheromone baited capture traps to enhance these predators in cotton in Georgia. Scymnus spp., Coccinella septempunctata (L.), Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer), Cycloneda munda (Say), and Olla v-nigrum (Mulsant) were found in sorghum over both years. Lady beetle compositions in sorghum and cotton and in stink bug capture traps were similar. In 2006, density of lady beetles was significantly higher on cotton with sorghum trap crops than on control cotton for sampling weeks 2 through 6 and on week 8. In 2007, density of lady beetles was significantly higher on cotton with sorghum trap crops than on control cotton for weeks 1 through 5. Our results indicate that sorghum was a source of lady beetles in cotton, and thus incorporation of a sorghum habitat in farmscapes with cotton has great potential to enhance biocontrol of insect pests in cotton.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014