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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410984

Research Project: Sustainable Insect Pest Management for Urban Agriculture and Landscapes

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Reproductive behavior and development of the global insect pest cotton seed bug

item Ahmed, Mohamed Save
item Hu, Jing - Hu
item Strickland, Jaime
item Krueger, Robert
item SHANNON, CLAFFORD - Orange County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
item Zhang, Aijun

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2024
Publication Date: 1/10/2024
Citation: Ahmed, M., Hu, J.S., Strickland, J.A., Krueger, R., Shannon, C., Zhang, A. 2024. Reproductive behavior and development of the global insect pest cotton seed bug. Insects. Insects 2024, 15(1), 65;.

Interpretive Summary: The Cotton seed bug (CSB) is an invasive pest native to southern Europe and North Africa. It feeds on plants in the mallow family, including the agricultural commodities cotton, okra, hibiscus, cocoa, and kenaf. The CSB is a major economic threat to the U.S. cotton industry. Based on host and climate availabilities and lack of natural enemies, CSB has a high likelihood for establishment throughout the southern regions in the U.S. The fundamental life history and reproductive behavior of CSB are inadequately explored until now, therefore, it is difficult to develop corresponding precautionary measures. In this research, we have conducted a comprehensive study on the life cycle of CSB, including egg development, metamorphosis, adult mating behavior, adult lifespan, and survivorship. Our results provided valuable information for scientists and growers to develop efficient management strategies in IPM for timely infestation intervention to protect the cotton crop and other agricultural commodities from CSB damage.

Technical Abstract: Understanding the fundamental life cycle and reproductive behavior of a pest insect is essential to develop efficient control strategies, much of this knowledge remains elusive for a multitude of insects including the cotton seed bug (CSB), Oxycarenus hyalinipennis. Here report the results of our comprehensive study on the CSB's life cycle, including mating behavior, adult lifespan, and egg-to-adulthood development. Our findings showed that adult males and females began mating as early as three days old after emerging (75%), and the frequency of mating increased to 100% by the fifth day. Mated females commenced oviposition on cotton seeds as early as two days after mating, with a cumulative mean number of 151 fertile eggs oviposited during the first oviposition cycle. Furthermore, both unmated and mated females produced identical number of infertile eggs. The first instar nymphs began emerging approximately at seven days old following oviposition. To track their development, we monitored the newly hatched nymphs on a daily basis until they reached adulthood. It underwent five nymphal stages which took roughly 28 to 30 days. Notably, mating positively influenced the survivorship and lifespan of adult CSB. Mated males and females exhibited a median lifespan of 28 and 25 days, respectively. In contrast, unmated males and females only lived for a median lifespan of 9.5 days, about three time shorter than that of mated CSB.