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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: Crop-specific mortality of southern green stink-bug eggs in Bt- and non-Bt cotton, soybean, and peanut

Authors
item OLSON, DAWN
item Ruberson, John -

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2012
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Citation: Olson, D.M., Ruberson, J.R. 2012. Crop-specific mortality of southern green stink-bug eggs in Bt- and non-Bt cotton, soybean, and peanut. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 22(12):1417-1428.

Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring parasitoids and predators have proved very important in regulating populations of stink bugs in the past. However, more recent natural enemy studies are lacking, especially as it relates to parasitism and predation rates in crops used simultaneously by stink bug species. We investigated Southern green stink bug egg mortality and the agents causing mortality by placing sentinel egg masses in plots of soybean, Bt-cotton, Round up Ready (RR) cotton and peanut plants in the Southeast over 2 years. Egg masses were photographed at placement and at various intervals over the subsequent 72 hours to evaluate relative stink bug egg predation and parasitism in the crops and tom assess the causative predator. Predation of eggs was quite high in peanuts and soybeans, but low in Bt and RR cotton. Parasitism was low overall. Most egg predation in RR-cotton, Bt-cotton and peanuts was attributable to fire ants. Most predation in the soybeans was attributable to long-horned grasshoppers (Tettigoniidae). These studies are needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of inter-patch movement of these species among the apparently equally acceptable crops which would allow predictions of pest pressures during the growing season in the various crops.

Technical Abstract: There is a need to characterize the mechanisms underlying population dynamics of stink bugs relative to major crops in the southeastern US. To this end, we investigated predation and parasitism of Southern green stink bug eggs and the agents causing mortality by placing sentinel egg masses in plots of soybean, Bt-cotton, Round up Ready (RR) cotton and peanut plants in the Southeast over 2 years. Egg masses were photographed at placement and at various intervals over the subsequent 72 hours to evaluate relative stink bug egg predation and parasitism in the crops. After 72h, surviving egg masses were collected and held in the laboratory to assess parasitism. In 2008, predation of eggs was high in peanuts (74%) and soybeans (65%), and similarly lower in Bt (26%) and RR cotton (21%). Parasitism was low overall but higher in the cotton (8%) than the peanuts (0.17%) and soybeans (2%). In 2009, predation of eggs was high in peanuts (86%) and lower in soybeans (39%), Bt (34%) and RR cotton (4%). Parasitism was low overall but higher in soybeans (19%) than RR (5%) and Bt-cotton (6%) and peanuts (2%). Most egg predation in RR-cotton, Bt-cotton and peanuts was attributable to fire ants. Most predation in the soybeans was attributable to long-horned grasshoppers (Tettigoniidae). Scelionid wasps were observed most frequently on eggs masses between 2000 and 2400 hours, whereas fire ants were observed most frequently between 2000 and 2400 hours. Future studies will examine predation and parasitism under field conditions as well as stink bug reproduction and longevity in the various crops used simultaneously by these species.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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