Cool-Season Cover Crops Relay Intercropped with Cantaloupe: Influence on a Generalist Predator, Geocoris punctipes (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae)

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Cool-season cover crops were used in efforts to enhance densities of entomophagous insects on relay-intercropped spring plantings of cantaloupe (Cucumi8 melo L. var. retlculatus Seringe). Eight cover-cropping regimes, including a weedy fallow control, were tested in a replicated trial. Cover crop significantly affected densities of the predominant predator, a bigeyed bug, Geoc0ri8 punctipes (Say), amid cover crops, on or near cantaloupe plants, and on or near sentinel egg masses of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) pinned to cantaloupe leaves. No significant difference was found for proportions of egg masses occupied or damaged by predators. For all indices of predator abundance and efficiency, absolute responses were highest for the plots of subterranean clover (TrifoUum subterraneum L., 'Mt. Barker'). Numbers of G. punctipes per sentinel egg mass were significantly greater for the subterranean clover regime than for rye, crimson clover, and a polyculture of six cover crops, but were not significantly greater than for 'Vantage' vetch or the weedy fallow control plots. Rye showed particularly low densities of G. punctipes. Cover crops had no apparent effect on densities of aphids or whiteflies (Homoptera: Aphididae, Aleyrodidae) on cantaloupe leaves.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 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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