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Relative preference of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) to selected host plants in the field
- Barman, Apurba K., Parajulee, Megha N., Carroll, Stanley C.
- Insect science 2010 v.17 no.6 pp. 542-548
- Lygus lineolaris, cotton, Helianthus annuus, Salsola tragus, insect pests, Gossypium hirsutum, host plants, Lygus elisus, Medicago sativa, alfalfa, rain, Amaranthus palmeri, nymphs, host preferences, Lygus hesperus, adults, crops, Texas
- Information on host plant preference of agriculturally important insect pests, such as Lygus hesperus (Knight), can be helpful in predicting its occurrence and future movement among crop and non-crop host plants. A field study was conducted during 2005 and 2006 to evaluate the host preference of Lygus to cotton and four other host plants in the Texas High Plains, including alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), Russian thistle (Salsola iberica L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus palmeri L.). Sampling for both nymphs and adults during 2005 (July to November) and 2006 (June to November) showed that alfalfa and Russian thistle were the two most preferred hosts out of the five hosts evaluated. Abundance of nymphs (numbers per 50 sweeps per host plant) during the sampling period also indicated the superior reproductive suitability of alfalfa and Russian thistle. Cotton appeared to be the least attractive host plant for Lygus when Russian thistle and alfalfa were available in the host mosaic. Seasonal abundance of Lygus was found to be lower during 2006 compared to 2005, which may be explained by the difference in rainfall patterns during these two years. In terms of species dominance, L. hesperus was the most dominant species in the sampled population followed by an inconsiderable fraction of L. elisus and L. lineolaris.