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Plant Growth Stage-Specific Injury and Economic Injury Level for Verde Plant Bug, Creontiades signatus (Hemiptera: Miridae), on Cotton: Effect of Bloom Period of Infestation

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Verde plant bugs, Creontiades signatus Distant (Hemiptera: Miridae), were released onto caged cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., for a 1-wk period to characterize the effects of insect density and bloom period of infestation on cotton injury and yield in 2011 and 2012, Corpus Christi, TX. When plants were infested during early bloom (10‐11 nodes above first white flower), a linear decline in fruit retention and boll load and a linear increase in boll injury were detected as verde plant bug infestation levels increased from an average of 0.5 to 4 bugs per plant. Lint and seed yield per plant showed a corresponding decline. Fruit retention, boll load, and yield were not affected on plants infested 1 wk later at peak bloom (8‐9 nodes above first white flower), even though boll injury increased as infestation levels increased. Second-year testing verified boll injury but not yield loss, when infestations occurred at peak bloom. Incidence of cotton boll rot, known to be associated with verde plant bug feeding, was low to modest (<1% [2012] to 12% [2011] of bolls with disease symptoms), and drought stress persisted throughout the study. Caging effect was minimal: a 10% fruit retention decline was associated with caging, and the effect was not detectable in the other measurements. Overall, reduced fruit retention and boll load caused by verde plant bug were important contributors to yield decline, damage potential was greatest during the early bloom period of infestation, and a simple linear response best described the yield response‐insect density relationship at early bloom. Confirmation that cotton after peak bloom was less prone to verde plant bug injury and an early bloom-specific economic injury level were key findings that can improve integrated pest management decision-making for dryland cotton, at least under low-rainfall growing conditions.

Keywords: Gossypium hirsutum; cotton boll injury; insect‐plant interaction; plant bug

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC13248

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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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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