Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2005
Publication Date: 2/1/2006
Citation: Anderson, W., Heng-Moss, T., Baxendale, F., Baird L., Sarath, G., Higley, L. 2006. Chinch bug (Hemiptera: Blissida) mouthpart morphology, probing frequencies and locations on resistant and susceptible germplams. Journal of Economic Entomology . 99: 212-221. Interpretive Summary: Chinch bugs are common pests of many agronomic and horticulturally important crops and turfgrasses. We have used scanning electron microscopy to investigate differences in the mouthparts among different chinch bug species. Light microscopy was used to determine the probing behavior of chinch bugs using turfgrass and sorghum leaves. This is a first report that has used these techniques to understand potential differences in chinch bug feeding on different plant species.
Technical Abstract: Chinch bugs are common pests of many agronomic and horticulturally important crops and turfgrasses. Previous research has indicated that some grasses exhibit resistance to multiple chinch bug species, whereas others are resistant to only one chinch bug species. With limited research on chinch bug feeding behaviors and mouthpart morphology, the objectives of this research were to document differences in the probing frequencies and locations among Blissus species as well as investigate the mouthpart morphology of these chinch bugs. This research documented differences in the mouthpart morphology among the chinch bug species as a first step in understanding the differential responses of grasses to chinch bug feeding. Scanning electron microscopy detected differences in the total lengths of proboscises as well as individual mouthpart segments among the four chinch bug species studies. Although the density and spatial configuration of labial tip sensilla were similar among the chinch bug species, subtle differences were detected in the lengths of the labial tip sensilla. Probing frequency studies revealed that B. occiduus probed significantly more often on buffalograss than any other plant material. Probing locations of B. occiduus and B. l. leucopterus were similar on both B. occiduus-resistant and susceptible buffalograsses and KS94 sorghum (B. occiduus-resistant, B. l. leucopterus-resistant). However, on ‘Wheatland’ sorghum (B. occiduus-resistant, B. l. leucopterus-susceptible), stylet tracts of B. l. leucopterus most often terminated in the bundle sheath cells, whereas those of B. occiduus generally terminated in the vascular tissues.