Submitted to: Palynology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 2003
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Jones, G.D. 2004. The use of pollen as a marker for stinkbug dispersal. Palynology. 28:249. Technical Abstract: Brown and green stinkbugs are secondary insect pests in soybean, corn, cotton, sorghum, and other agricultural crops. Adults and nymphs damage the plants. Damage to the plant from stinkbug feeding includes the loss of plant fluids, the injection of destructive digestive enzymes, the deformation and abortion of seed and fruiting structures, etc. Stinkbugs are known to feed on and damage all parts of the plant including stems, fruits, seeds, and flowers; however, they are not known as nectar feeders. Pollen analysis of other insect pests has proven to be an effective tool in determining long- and short-distance migration and dispersal, and alternative food sources. Since stinkbugs feed on plant parts including flowers, they may become contaminated with pollen. Green and brown stinkbugs were collected and examined for pollen. Pollen and spores were found in the light microscopy analyses of the internal tissues but not in the scanning electron analyses of the external tissues. Seventeen pollen taxa and three spore taxa were found in the stinkbugs including pollen from Asteraceae and Onagraceae. Anemophilous taxa may be the result of contamination, but it is doubtful that the entomophilous taxa are contaminants. In laboratory tests, 100% of the stinkbugs contained spores for up to seven days when fed sugar water spiked with Lycopodium clavatum spores. Although the longevity of the spores in these insect pests makes the spores a possible artificial marker, future research is needed to assess the use of Lycopodium as a marker for stinkbug dispersal.