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Suitability of Selected Legumes and the Effect of Nymphal and Adult Nutrition in the Southern Green Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)

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Performance of nymphs and adults of the southern green stink bug, Nezara Viridula (L.), depended on their legume diet and on whether the food of nymphs and adults was the same or different. No nymphs survived to adults on leaves or stems of Glycine max (L.) Merrill (cv. Bedford), or on green pods of Albizia julibrissin Durazzini, Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michaux) Greene, Indigofera hirsuta L., and Sesbania vesicaria (Jacquin) Elliott. When the pod wall of S. vesicaria (which is separated by a large airspace from the seeds) was removed, the immature seeds provided intermediate nymphal mortality, fast development, and high body weight of new adults. Green pods of Sesbania emerus (Aublet) Urban were a superior food, whereas intermediate nymphal performance occurred on green pods of Phaseolus vulgaris L., Desmodium tortuosum (Swartz) DeCandolle, and G. max, and immature seeds of the latter. Scraping the pubescence from G. max pods reduced nymphal mortality by about half. Green pods of Crotalaria lanceolata Meyer and mature seeds of G. max and Arachis hypogaea L. caused poor nymphal performance. Females and males had similar developmental times but 1-d-old females were significantly heavier, weighing 20- 40% more depending on food. For each sex across all foods, fresh weight of new adults declined significantly as developmental time increased. Few females laid few eggs with low or 0% hatch when fed pods of C. lanceolata or S. vesicaria, or mature seeds of A. hypogaea or G. max. Egg production was also low on pods of G. max and D. tortuosum, and it was high on pods of S. emerus and P. vulgaris. On most foods, there were no significant differences in longevity between females and males. Adult fresh weight generally increased during the first 2 wk, with females tending to exhibit larger percentage increases than males, although weight loss occurred on pods of C. lanceolata and D. tortuosum and on mature seeds of G. max. Rearing nymphs on P. vulgaris pods and then switching the new adults to the various foods improved longevity and reproductive performance of adult females on those foods that resulted in generally poor performance when fed to nymphs and adults. Thus, foodswitching may be an important component of the nutritional ecology of N. vtridula.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1991

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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