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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: Stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), a leaffooted bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae), and their predators in sorghum in Georgia.

Author
item Tillman, Patricia

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 29, 2012
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Tillman, P.G. 2013. Stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), a leaffooted bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae), and their predators in sorghum in Georgia. Journal of Entomological Science. 48(1):9-16.

Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs have increased in significance as pests in many cropping systems in the southeast, and they depend on the occurrence of a sequence of suitable host plants throughout the growing season. In light of the relative lack of current information on stink bugs in sorghum, the objective of this study was to determine the species and number of stink bugs, leaffooted bugs, and their natural enemies in this crop in Georgia. Ten species of panicle-feeding bugs were present in sorghum over the study. The southern green stink bug was the predominant species; density of this stink bug was twice as high as that of the rice stink bug. The brown was the third most abundant stink bug species. Density of both the leaffooted bug and the dusky stink bug was about half that of the brown stink bug. The green stink bug, the red shouldered stink bug, the red-banded stink bug, and two other stink bugs were minor pests in sorghum. Adult bugs primarily fed on developing seed. Most of these bugs reproduced on the plant. Several species of insect predators occurred in sorghum. The pirate bug was the most abundant predator. Density of big-eyed bugs was about twice as high as density of the lady beetles and spiders. Density of the red imported fire ant was about half that of lady beetles. The spined soldier bug, the spined assassin bug, and damsel bugs were the least abundant predators. Conserving these natural enemies of panicle-feeding bugs in sorghum could possibly be utilized in management of these bugs on southeastern farms.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this 4-yr study was to determine species composition and abundance of stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), a leaffooted bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae), and their predators in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench spp. bicolor] in Georgia. Ten species of panicle-feeding bugs were present in sorghum over the study. Nezara viridula (L.) was the predominant species; density of this stink bug was twice as high as that of Oebalus pugnax pugnax (F.). Euschistus servus (Say) was the third most abundant stink bug species. Density of both Leptoglossus phyllopus (L.) and Euschistus quadrator (Rolston) was about half that of E. servus. Chinavia hilaris (Say), Thyanta custator custator (F.), Euschistus tristigmus (Say), Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), and Euschistus ictericus (L.) were minor pests. Adult bugs primarily fed on developing seed. For all bug species, except E. tristigmus and E. ictericus, sorghum served as a reproductive host plant. Several species of generalist insect predators occurred in sorghum. Orius insidiosus (Say) was the most abundant predator. Density of Geocoris spp., [Geocoris punctipes (Say) and G. uliginosus (Say)], was about twice as high as density of the lady beetles, i.e., Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, Coccinella septempunctata (L.), Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer), and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), and spiders, i.e., Peucetia viridans (Hentz) and Oxyopes salticus Hentz. Density of Solenopsis invicta Buren was about half that of lady beetles. Podisus maculiventris (Say), Sinea diadema (F.), and Nabis spp., were the least abundant predators. Conserving these natural enemies of panicle-feeding bugs in sorghum could possibly be utilized in management of these bugs in southeastern farmscapes.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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