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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


A Multiyear Study on Seasonal Flight Activity Based on Captures of Southern Green Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Blacklight Traps in Central Texas

Authors: J. D. López Jr., M. A. Latheef, and W. Clint Hoffmann
Pages: 153-165
Arthropod Management

The southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.)(Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is cosmopolitan in distribution and feeds on many cultivated plants. On cotton, it reduces yield and transmits fungal and bacterial pathogens that result in necrosis of the locule and boll rotting. Objectives of this study were to determine the seasonal flight activity and to assess numerical changes in the season-long captures of N. viridula in blacklight traps. Traps were established in a commercial farmscape where cotton and corn were the predominant crops. Minor crops grown in the area were milo, soybean, pecan, and watermelon. Study areas included four to five locations during each year from 2003 to 2011 in Burleson County of Central Texas. Frequency distribution of seasonal counts of N. viridula conformed to a clumped dispersion pattern when analyzed by Taylor’s Power Law and negative binomial distribution as probability models. Counts transformed by a power law function, x0.165, adequately uncoupled the mean and the variance of the data better than those transformed by log transformation. Significantly and consistently, more females than males were captured in traps. Peak captures of N. viridula in traps generally occurred in August. August counts of the insect declined precipitously from a monthly mean of 177 in 2003 to near zero in 2011. Results of this study demonstrate that blacklight traps are a useful sampling tool for determining N. viridula population numbers and to assess their seasonal flight activity in production agriculture.