Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2013
Publication Date: 6/1/2013
Citation: Suh, C.P., Westbrook, J.K., Esquivel, J.F., Jones, G.D. 2013. Species composition and relative abundance of stink bugs in the Brazos River Bottom - Second year results. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. pp. 212-214. 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. A study was initiated in 2011 and repeated in 2012 to examine 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 4 crops in 2012, and 3 species were found in all 4 crops. As in 2011, the brown and red-shouldered stink bugs were the two most prevalent species found in cotton in 2012 and, subsequently, are likely responsible for most of damage observed in cotton. These two species also were the two most abundant species found in nearby corn and soybean fields, suggesting 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 and repeated in 2012 to determine which species commonly infest cotton fields in the BRB. Eight cotton fields throughout the BRB were sampled weekly with sweep nets (240 sweeps x 2 rows per field) from the first 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 phytophagous species were collected among the 4 crops in 2012. Three species, Euschistus servus (Say), Thyanta custator accerra McAtee, and Oebalus pugnax (F.) were observed in all four crops. Two species that were collected in 2011 (Chinavia hilaris and Cosmopepla lintneriana) were not found in 2012, but two additional species (Euschistus variolarius and Hymenarcys nervosa) were identified in 2012 that were not observed in 2011. As in 2011, soybean fields contained the greatest diversity of stink bugs (9 species) in 2012 with T. c. accerra (43%) and E. servus (41%) being the two most prevalent species collected from soybean fields. Five species of stink bugs were found in cotton with E. servus and T. c. accerra accounting for the majority (58 and 38%, respectively) of stink bugs collected from cotton. Euschistus servus also was the prevalent species found in corn (67%). Oebalus pugnax (78%) was by far the most dominant species found in milo. As in 2011, our results in 2012 indicate E. servus and T. c. accerra are likely responsible for most of the damage observed in BRB cotton. Our findings also suggest nearby soybean fields and, to a lesser extent, corn fields may be contributing these stink bugs to cotton.