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Submitted to: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Logarzo, G., Williams Iii, L., Carpintero, D. 2005. Plant bug communities (heteroptera: miridae) in argentina and paraguay: host plant, temporal, and geographic range effects. Annals of the Entomologyical Society of America. 98(5):694-702

Interpretive Summary: The Miridae, commonly known as plant bugs, is the largest and most diverse family of true bugs. Much of what we know about the biology of mirids results from the study of relatively few economically important species. Some plant bugs are important pests of cultivated plants, like tarnished plant bug. Mirid-host plant records are valuable scientific resources that provide relevant information for systematics, ecology, agriculture, evolution, forestry, and conservation. Host records are sometimes never published, and so are not accessible to researchers. Mirid-host plant associations for Argentine species can help in the search of narural enemies for American plant bug' pests. The host record of the Argentinian plant bugs are incomplete, and certainly they may not be accurate, because, most of the time, they were got with an inappropriate methodology. Thus, there is a need for additional studies of mirid-host plant associations in Argentina that provide accurate, reliable information. We recently conducted field exploration for nymphal parasitoids of plant bugs in Argentina and Paraguay. During the study, mirid nymphs were collected from known plants and reared to adulthood for subsequent identification. In the paper we report the host plant records, the phenology for all the mirids collected, and the pattern of plant usage for the most abundant plant bugs.

Technical Abstract: Between November 1999 and September 2001 mirid nymphs were collected on wild and cultivated plants in northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. We collected four (Bryocorinae, Deraeocorinae, Mirinae, and Orthotylinae) of the eight mirid subfamilies during this study. Twenty-two mirids species on 43 putative host plant species were collected in Argentina, and five species of mirids on eight plant species were collected in Paraguay. Eighty-five new mirid-plant associations were recorded (only 112 mirid-plant associations had been previously reported for Argentina). Most of the mirids were in the sub-family Mirinae, tribe Mirini, while most of the host plants belonged to Asteraceae. Almost all mirids were collected on plants with flower buds present. The most frequently collected mirid was Tayloriligus apicalis (Fieber) (ca. 87% of the 35,970 collected mirids), and was usually collected on Asteraceae. The presence of this exotic species could have impacted the native mirid fauna in the study area. More research on the possible interactions between T. apicalis and the native mirids of Argentina and Paraguay is needed. Mirids were not collected on alfalfa during this study; this may be because mirids in South America have not evolved with alfalfa, a plant originating in the Northern Hemisphere. In addition to host plant records, the phenology and pattern of plant usage for the most abundant mirids are reported. There was considerable variation in mirid richness and abundance that varied according to the host plant species, but the highest diversity and richness of mirids occurred in the western region (Salta, Jujuy, and Tucumán provinces). Our results suggest that T. apicalis may exhibit regional polyphagy, i.e, the utilization of numerous hosts throughout its geographic range.