Composition and abundance of stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in corn
Environmental Entomology 39(6): 1765-1774
The species composition and abundance of stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in corn, Zea mays L., was determined in this on-farm study in Georgia. Seven species of phytophagous stink bugs were found on corn with the predominant species being Nezara viridula (L.) and Euschistus servus (Say). All developmental stages of these two pests were found, indicating they were developing on the corn crop. The remaining five species, Oebalus pugnax pugnax (F.), Euschistus quadrator (Rolston), Euschistus tristigmus (Say), Euschistus ictericus (L.), and Acrosternum hilare (Say), were found in relatively low numbers. Adult N. viridula were parasitized by the tachinid parasitoid Trichopoda pennipes (F.). There was a pronounced edge effect in distribution of stink bugs in corn. Population dynamics of N. viridula and E. servus were different on early and late-planted corn. Oviposition by females of both stink bug species occurred in mid-to-late-May and again mid-to-late-June in corn, regardless of planting date. In early planted fields, if stink bug females oviposited on corn in mid-July, the resulting nymphs did not survive to the adult stage in corn because ears were close to physiological maturity and leaves were senescing. Density of stink bug adults in early planted corn was relatively low throughout the growing season. In late-planted corn, females of both stink bug species consistently laid eggs in mid-to-late-July on corn with developing ears. This habitat favored continued nymph development, and the resulting adult population reached high levels. These results indicate that corn management practices play a key role in the ecology of stink bugs in corn agroecosystems and provide information for designing management strategies to suppress stink bugs in farmscapes with corn.