Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Citation: Tillman, P.G., Greenstone, M.H., Hu, J.S. 2015. Predation of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by a complex of predators and adjoining soybean habitats in Georgia, USA. Journal of Economic Entomology. 98: 1114-1126.
Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs are major economic pests of cotton. Habitats of soybean and soybean + buckwheat (a nectar-producing plant) were planted next to cotton to encourage predation of these stink bugs in an on-farm field of cotton adjoining peanut. The gut-contents of stink bugs captured in soybean and cotton were analyzed to determine what predators, if any, fed on stink bugs in habitats of soybean and adjoining cotton. The southern green stink bug, the brown stink bug, and the green stink bug were detected in soybean and cotton. The red-banded stink bug and red-shouldered stink bug were detected exclusively on soybean while the dusky stink bug was specific to cotton. Over both crops, 13 species of predators screened positive for stink bug DNA including big-eyed bugs, a pirate bug, lady beetles, a predatory stink bug, spiders, an assassin bug, a hooded beetle, and fire ants. Over all predator species, incidence of predation tended to be highest for big-eyed bugs for most stink bug species in soybean and for the brown stink bug in cotton. Incidence of predation on the southern green stink bug by the pirate bug generally was very high in cotton. Incidence of predation of stink bug species by some predators tended to be higher in habitats of soybean with buckwheat than in those without this plant. Many of the predators dispersed between soybean and adjacent cotton. Our results support the establishment of soybean-buckwheat habitats for increasing predation of stink bugs in cotton.
Technical Abstract: Molecular gut-content analysis was used to examine predation on stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by arthropod predators in habitats of soybean with and without buckwheat and adjoining cotton. Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), Chinavia hilaris (Say), and Euschistus quadrator Rolston, were detected in soybean and cotton. Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood) and Thyanta custator (F.) were detected exclusively on soybean while Euschistus tristigmus (Say) was specific to cotton. Over both crops, 13 predators screened positive by specific PCR for stink bug DNA: Geocoris punctipes (Say), Geocoris uliginosus (Say), Orius insidiosus (Say), Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Scymnus sp., Podisus maculiventris (Say), Oxyopes salticus Hentz, Peucetia viridans (Hentz), Mecaphesa asperata (Hentz), Zelus renardii (Kolenati), Notoxus monodon (F.), and Solenopsis invicta Buren. Over all predator species, incidence of predation tended to be highest for Geocoris spp. for most stink bug species in soybean and for E. servus in cotton. Incidence of predation of some stink bug species by Geocoris spp., M. asperata, and H. convergens tended to be higher in habitats of soybean with buckwheat than in those without this nectar-producing plant. Incidence of predation on N. viridula by Orius insidiosus generally was very high in cotton. Detection of P. guildinii DNA in predators in cotton and E. tristigmus DNA in predators in soybean demonstrated that predators dispersed between soybean and adjacent cotton. Our results support the establishment of soybean-buckwheat habitats for conservation biological control of stink bugs in cotton.