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Title: Sampling strategies for square and boll-feeding plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae) occurring on cotton

item BREWER, MICHAEL - Texas Agrilife Research
item ANDERSON, DARWIN - Texas Agrilife Research
item Armstrong, John
item VILLANUEVA, RAUL - Texas Agrilife Extension

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2012
Publication Date: 3/31/2012
Citation: Brewer, M.J., Anderson, D.J., Armstrong, J.S., Villanueva, R. 2012. Sampling strategies for square and boll-feeding plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae) occurring on cotton. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(3):896-905.

Interpretive Summary: The pest status in the cotton landscape has been changing from problems associated with the worm complex and the boll weevil to plant bugs. Plant bugs are represented as a group of Hemipterans that suck juice from the cotton plant. Plant bugs include the cotton fleahopper, verde plant bugs and stikbugs. Because of this shift in pest status, sampling plans that achieve the most accurate and the least time consuming estimation of pest densities were evaluated in 25 different cotton fields during squaring, early bloom through peak bloom in 2011 and 2012. From the six different sampling shemes used, the beat bucket was the most efficient method of sampling for both cotton fleahoppers and verde plant bugs. Stinkbugs were isolated to the Upper Coastal Bend and were in too low densities to imporve on sampling. Even though the beat-bucket proved to be an effcient sampling scheme, agricultural consultanat and producers will have to become familiar with it as a tool for sampling cotton insects.

Technical Abstract: Six sampling methods targeting square and boll-feeding plant bugs on cotton were compared during three cotton growth periods (early-season squaring, early bloom, and peak through late bloom) by samplers differing in experience (with prior years of sampling experience or no experience) along the coastal growing region of south Texas. Cotton fleaphopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae), was the predominant sucking bug collected from early-season squaring through early bloom at 25 coastal and inland cotton fields. A major species composition shift occurred beginning peak bloom in coastal fields, when verde plant bug, Creontiades signatus Distant (Hemiptera: Miridae), represented 55-65 % of collections. Significantly more cotton fleahoppers were captured by experienced samplers with the beat bucket and sweep net than with the other methods. For verde plant bug, there were more than twice as many verde plant bugs captured by experienced and inexperienced samplers with the beat bucket and sweep net than captured with the KISS and visual methods. Sampling efficiency for the visual method and beat bucket in sampling cotton fleahoppper was about 50 to 75% of that of a comparison whole plant caging method, while the beat bucket actually detected more verde plant bug when using the visual method. Using a beat bucket or sweep net was key to reducing sampling time for the experienced samplers.