Stink bugs are the primary arthropod soybean pests in the southern United States. Historically, important stink bug species damaging soybeans in the southern United States included the southern green stink bug Nezara viridula (L.), the green stink bug Chinavia hilaris (Say), and the brown stink bug Euschistus servus (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). The redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), has recently become an economic pest of soybean in the southern region of the United States, especially in Louisiana and Texas. Little is known about current stink bug species composition and relative abundance in Texan soybean agro-ecosystems. To fill this gap, commercial soybean fields in the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas were sampled weekly during the growing season using a sweep net throughout R2 (full flowering) to R7 (beginning maturity) from 2011 to 2013. Adults and nymphs (third, fourth, and fifth instars) of redbanded stink bug, southern green stink bug, green stink bug, and brown stink bug were counted per 25 sweeps. The relative abundance of redbanded stink bug was significantly higher than any other stink bug species throughout 2011–2013. Over 65% of the total population of major stink bugs collected during this period were redbanded stink bugs and ≈19% were southern green stink bugs. The highest redbanded stink bug densities and the highest ratio of redbanded stink bug nymphs to adults were recorded at R7. Results from this study show that redbanded stink bug has become the predominant stink bug species in soybean in the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas.
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Vol. 43 • No. 6