Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Esquivel, J.F. 2016. Nezara viridula (L.) in Central Texas: II. Seasonal occurrence of black spotted condition in adult females. Southwestern Entomologist. 41:905-912.
Interpretive Summary: The southern green stink bug can be an annual pest of cotton and other row crops, especially given the potential for multiple generations per year. Understanding the reproductive cycle and identifying a marker for distinguishing those adults reaching the end of reproduction would be helpful in decision-making management methods. This report presents such a marker indicative of the end of the reproductive cycle for southern green stink bug females in Central Texas. The potential sources of the marker are described. The marker occurs primarily during late August through November and is consistent with environmental and production practices signaling a decline in resources. Also, plant species harboring adults possessing the marker are identified and will aid in detection of the pest species. While the marker has now been identified in Central Texas, the physiological causes leading to the marker remain to be determined.
Technical Abstract: Nezara viridula (L.) continues to plague cotton and row crop producers annually after successfully overwintering in a production region. A physiological marker in the female reproductive system – known as a black spot condition – alluding to overwintering status was previously reported and a similar marker was found in N. viridula adults collected in Central Texas. This report expands on this latter finding through a more clear identification on the potential origin of the marker and reporting on the seasonal occurrence of the black spotted condition relative to associated plant species. In the five plant species where the condition occurred, the condition was observed primarily during the late season with frequencies ranging from 3.00-10.00% of samples possessing the black spotted condition. This report sheds new insight to the biology and ecology of N. viridula in Central Texas and presents a tool to aid producers in decision-making regarding implementation of management tactics to control the pest. Additional research, however, is needed to elucidate the exact cause and true implications of the black spotted condition within adult N. viridula in Central Texas.