Submitted to: The Economically Important Heteroptera of the World
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Stilt bugs represent a relatively small but diverse family of both phytophagous and zoophagous true bugs. Several species are considered important pests of certain vegetable crops. For example, the spined stilt bug in North America is a serious pest of tomatoes. Although a number of species have attained pest status, a growing amount of evidence shows that stilt bugs can be important predators of aphids and insects eggs and young lepidopterous larvae. One species in Japan is an important predator of aphids on soybeans and another in Peru is considered the most important predator of cotton aphids and cotton fruitworm eggs. Although a number of species have gained notoriety as pests, it is the predatory habits of these bugs that make them potentially most important in agricultural ecosystems. This paper summarizes information on the most important stilt bug pests and predators and provides a thorough review of the literature that will be useful to all researchers interested in crop protection and biological control.
The economic importance of the stilt bugs is reviewed. Two species are considered serious plant pests. Jalysus wickhami Van Duzee causes injury to tomatoes in North American and Metacanthus pulchellus Dallas is a pest of bottle gourd and other cucurbits in India. Six other species [Chinoneides tasmaniensis (Gross), Jalysus spinosus (Say), Neoneides muticus (Say), Parajalysus andinus Horvath, P. spinosus Distant, and Yemma exilis Horvath] are highlighted for their predatory tendencies or importance in plant pollination. Growing evidence shows that stilt bugs are potentially important in biological control programs. A summary of the literature, distribution, life history, and biology is given for all species, including information on damage and control measures for J. wickhami and M. pulchellus.