Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A plant bug in the genus Creontiades has been noted to attack cotton squares and bolls in south Texas. Due to very little research conducted on this pest, the best methods as how to sample its populations, what level it needs to reach before action is required to economically justify an insecticide treatment, or which insecticides may be most effective for its control are not known. Another aspect that is not known is if there may be beneficial insects which may help control this plant bug. A survey for parasites that might attack this bug was initiated by collecting eggs in weedy host plants that are used by the bug to maintain or build up its populations. A wasp species identified as Ittys nr. ceresarum emerged from many of the bug eggs that were collected from three species of weedy host plants. This is the first known report of a parasite that attacks the pest bug.
Technical Abstract: A survey for egg parasitoids was initiated by collecting Creontiades sp. eggs from three species of Chenopodiaceae in the Ranchito Tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. A trichogrammatid, Ittys nr. ceresarum (Ashmead) was recovered from eggs of the mirid collected from crested saltbush, Atriplex cristata Humb. & Bonp. ex Willd., annual seepweed, Suaeda linearis (Ell.) Moq., and coastal seepweed, S. tampicensis (Standl.). This is the first reported discovery of an egg parasitoid on this mirid which has been recorded as a pest of cotton in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Coastal Bend regions of Texas. Further investigation is planned on surveying the parasitoid complex of Creontiades sp. in other non-crop and crop hosts, including cotton, and determining if I. nr. ceresarum may have a regulatory effect on this mirid.