Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2013
Publication Date: 12/1/2013
Citation: Suh, C.P., Westbrook, J.K., Esquivel, J.F. 2013. Species composition of stink bugs in cotton and other major row crops in the Brazos River Bottom production area of Texas. Southwestern Entomologist. 38:561-570. Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs have recently become an economic pest of cotton in Central Texas, but many producers remain uncertain which species are infesting fields. Because the susceptibility of stink bugs to insecticides varies among species, knowledge of the species composition is critical for developing effective stink bug management programs. Cotton and nearby corn, sorghum, and soybean fields were surveyed weekly for stink bugs in 2011 and 2012 to determine the composition of species infesting cotton and to identify crops potentially contributing stink bugs to cotton. The brown and red-shouldered stink bugs were the two most prevalent species encountered in cotton over both years, collectively accounting for 87 percent of the stink bugs 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 a source for stink bugs in cotton. Considering the brown stink bug has previously been shown to be less susceptible than other stink bug species to pyrethroid insecticides, our findings also suggest producers in Central Texas may have to use an organophosphate insecticide to achieve adequate control of stink bugs in cotton.
Technical Abstract: Stink bugs have recently emerged as an economic pest of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the Brazos River Bottom production area of Texas, but many producers remain uncertain which species are infesting fields. Cotton and nearby corn (Zea mays L.), grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.)), and soybean (Glycine max(L.)) were sampled weekly for stink bugs in 2011 and 2012 to determine the composition of species infesting cotton and to identify crops potentially contributing stink bugs to cotton. In total, 12 phytophagous stink bug species were collected among the four crops over both years. Seven species were detected in cotton, but Euschistus servus (Say) and Thyanta custator acerra (F.), collectively, accounted for 80 and 96 percent of the total stink bugs found in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These two species also were the most prevalent species encountered in soybean and corn over both years. The absence of Nezara viridula (L.) during both years and disappearance of Acrosternum hilare (Say) in 2012 are particularly interesting because both species were commonly observed in cotton and soybean fields in years prior to the initiation of our study. Given the prevalence of E. servus and T. c. acerra in cotton and the relative abundance of both species in soybean and, to a lesser extent corn, our findings suggest these two crops may be a late-season source for stink bugs in cotton.