Submitted to: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/13/2007
Publication Date: 11/16/2007
Citation: Wright, M., Follett, P.A., Golden, M. 2007. Long-term patterns and feeding sites of southern green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Hawaii macadamia orchards, and sampling for management decisions. Bull. Entomol. Res. 97:569-575. Interpretive Summary: The green stink bug Nezara viridula is a serious pest of macadamia nut worldwide. Previously, damage to nuts by this stink bug was believed to occur mainly after nuts dropped to the ground. Our study showed that significant feeding occurs in the tree canopy, resulting in perhaps 50% of observed damage at harvest. Pest control measures should focus on stink bugs in the tree canopy as well as in weeds on the ground.
Technical Abstract: Southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula, Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is a pest of macadamia nuts, causing pitting to kernels by feeding. In spite of its pest status, many aspects of the ecology of this insect in macadamia orchards are poorly understood. This study analyzes long-term N. viridula damage to macadamia nuts, and investigates the extent to which damage to nuts occurs in the tree canopy, prior to nut-drop. We show that there are distinct seasonal peaks in damage detected after harvest, and that over six years of data collection, mean damage levels were fairly low, albeit with spikes in damage levels recorded. Sampling nuts from different strata in the trees and from the ground showed that at least 50% of damage may be incurred within the canopy. These results show that management of N. viridula within macadamia canopies (as opposed to only on fallen nuts) is important.