|HAMONS, KRISTIN - Texas A&M University|
|SWORD, GREGORY - Texas A&M University|
Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2019
Publication Date: 5/20/2019
Citation: Hamons, K.L., Sword, G.A., Suh, C.P. 2019. Linking cotton fleahopper spring emergence to local environmental conditions. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. pp. 1-4.
Interpretive Summary: The cotton fleahopper is consistently one of the most economically damaging insect pests of cotton in Texas and Oklahoma. This insect pest overwinters as dormant eggs in weed hosts such as woolly croton and subsequent nymphs begin to emerge in the spring once the eggs have been exposed to sufficient temperatures and moisture to terminate the dormancy. Traditionally, it has been held that adults arising from these dormant eggs move to and develop on other spring weed hosts for a generation or two before infesting cotton fields in large numbers. We examined the temporal patterns of cotton fleahopper nymph and adult emergence from woolly croton at three locations in the Brazos River Bottom production area of Texas. Although the densities of dormant eggs varied considerably among the three locations, the temporal patterns of nymph emergence were nearly identical at all three locations suggesting there was a close relationship between environmental conditions and the timing of nymph emergence. More importantly, our data revealed that cotton fleahopper adults emerging from overwintered eggs could directly infest cotton fields in large numbers when plants are most susceptible to cotton fleahopper feeding damage rather than first undergoing reproduction on alternative hosts. The next phase of this study is to integrate the spring emergence data with local environmental conditions to develop a model to predict spring emergence patterns of cotton fleahoppers from dormant eggs in croton.
Technical Abstract: The cotton fleahopper (CFH), Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter), is an economically important cotton pest that feeds on developing squares and terminals. The cotton fleahopper overwinters as diapausing eggs in host plants such as woolly croton, Croton spp., and emerges in the spring once eggs have been exposed to sufficient temperatures and moisture to terminate diapause. We documented diapausing egg densities and environmental conditions in three croton fields in the Brazos River Bottom, and examined the temporal emergence patterns of CFH nymphs across each site in Spring 2018. Although egg densities varied among fields, temporal patterns of nymph emergence were similar across all three sites. Importantly, the temporal patterns of emergence revealed that CFH adults emerging from overwintered eggs could directly infest cotton when it is most susceptible CFH feeding damage rather than first undergoing reproduction on alternative hosts. The next phase of this study is to integrate the spring emergence data with local environmental conditions to develop a model to predict spring emergence patterns of CFH from diapausing eggs in croton. Data collection will continue for at least two additional years to expand the current data set and validate the accuracy of the model.