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Blissus occiduus (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae): A Chinch Bug Pest New to Buffalograss Turf

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Blissus occiduus Barber, a relatively small chinch bug characterized by conspicuous wing dimorphism, has emerged as an important insect pest of buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides (Nuttall) Engelmann. It completes 2 generations a year on buffalograss in Nebraska. Overwintered adults become active as early as mid-March. Depending on the season, 1st-generation nymphs can be present from early May through early August, with 1st-generation adults (up to 60% macropterous forms) appearing in mid to late June. Second generation nymphs can be present from early July through fall, with 2nd-generation adults appearing in late August to early September. These predominately brachypterous (>95%) adults overwinter in and around the turf area. Blissus occiduus was confirmed to be associated with natural buffalograss pastures, seeded and vegetatively propagated buffalograss lawns, right-of-ways, cemeteries, and golf courses in 21 Nebraska counties. Chinch bugs were generally found feeding on the stolons and in the crown area of the buffalograss plant. Initial B. occiduus injury resulted in reddish discoloration of infested plant tissues. As feeding progressed, damage appeared as patchy areas in the turf that turned from yellow to straw-brown. At higher infestation levels, chinch bug feeding resulted in severe thinning or death of the buffalograss stand. Field studies documented buffalograss as a reproductive host of B. occiduus, with Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass identified as potential hosts. Creeping bentgrass, tall fescue, and zoysiagrass did not appear to be suitable turfgrass hosts for B. occiduus.

Keywords: Blissus occiduus; Buchloƫ dactyloides; turf

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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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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