Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2016
Publication Date: 2/1/2016
Citation: Esquivel, J.F. 2016. Nezara viridula (L.) in Central Texas: I. New host plant associations and reproductive status of adults encountered within. Southwestern Entomologist. 41:895-904.
Interpretive Summary: The southern green stink bug and related species are annual pest species that can infest cotton and other row crops and affect yield quality and quantity. In addition to infesting crop production fields, southern green stink bugs can exploit wild weed species to maintain existing population levels and/or use the weed species as a reproductive site, thereby also increasing pest levels and producing additional generations of the pest. In Central Texas, 17 new plant species were identified as harboring southern green stink bug. Adult southern green stink bugs were dissected to assess development of the reproductive systems and wild plant species harboring fully reproductive adults were identified. These new plant species should be monitored for reproducing, and potentially transient, populations of southern green stink bugs that may infest high value crops.
Technical Abstract: Nezara viridula (L.) and other phytophagous stink bug species continue to plague producers in Texas and the remainder of the Cotton Belt. Developing effective management tactics for Nezara viridula (L.) requires a thorough understanding of factors contributing to continued production of field pest populations, and uncultivated plant species in the absence of cultivated crops are key factors known to support N. viridula. This report identifies 17 new host plant associations (from nine plant families) for N. viridula in Central Texas; 12 of these associations were previously unidentified altogether in Central Texas while 5 plant species associations were identified in other regions of North America and the world. Also, reproductive status data of adults in these new associations aid in identifying the new species capable of harboring reproductive adults. These new plant species associated with N. viridula should be monitored for developing populations that may eventually, or simultaneously, infest cultivated crops.