Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2012
Publication Date: 5/1/2012
Citation: Suh, C.P., Westbrook, J.K., Esquivel, J.F., Jones, G.D. 2012. Species composition and relative abundance of stink bugs in cotton and other row crops in the Brazos River Bottom production area of Texas. Proceedings Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 880-882. Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs have recently become an economic pest of cotton in Central Texas, but many producers remain uncertain which species are responsible for most of the damage. We examined the species composition and relative abundance of stink bugs in cotton as well as in corn, milo, and soybean fields to determine which of these crops may be contributing stink bugs to cotton in Central Texas. Overall, 10 species were collected among the four crops, and four species were found in all four crops. Brown stink bugs followed by red-shouldered stink bugs were the two most prevalent species found in cotton and are likely responsible for most of damage observed in cotton. The brown stink bug also was the most prevalent species found in nearby corn and soybean fields. Given the abundance of brown and red-shouldered stink bugs found in soybean fields and to a lesser extent in corn fields, our findings suggest these two crops may be contributing stink bugs to cotton.
Technical Abstract: Stink bugs have recently emerged as an economic pest of cotton in the Brazos River Bottom (BRB) production area of Texas, but the species responsible for most of the damage remains unclear. A study was initiated in 2011 to determine which species commonly infest cotton fields in the BRB. Ten cotton fields throughout the BRB were sampled weekly with sweep nets (240 sweeps x two rows per field) from the 1st week of bloom until defoliation. The species composition and relative abundance of stink bugs in nearby corn, milo, and soybean fields was also examined to determine which of these crops may be contributing stink bugs to cotton. Based on collections of adult stink bugs, 10 species were identified among the four crops. Four species, Chinavia hilaris (Say) [formerly Acrosternum hilare], Euschistus servus (Say), Oebalus pugnax (F.), and Thyanta custator accerra McAtee were collected from all four crops. Soybean fields contained the greatest diversity (9 species) and abundance of stink bugs. Six species were found in cotton, but E. servus and T. c. accerra accounted for the majority (65 and 18%, respectively) of stink bugs collected from cotton. E. servus also was the predominant species found in corn (67%) and soybean fields (67%). O. pugnax was the prevalent species (90%) in milo. Our findings indicate E. servus and T. c. accerra are likely responsible for most of the damage observed in BRB cotton, and also suggest nearby corn and soybean fields may be contributing these stink bugs to cotton.