Patterns of diel activity and behavior of the Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), were investigated in a series of field and greenhouse experiments in Yuma, AZ. Adults of B. hilaris were monitored by on-site direct observation on broccoli and cauliflower plants in large-block experimental plots at various intervals throughout consecutive 24-h periods. In the field trials, mean number of B. hilaris adults differed among sampling times, with peak abundance observed consistently between 1300 and 1800 hours. There was a positive correlation between temperature and numbers of B. hilaris adults in all fields, and a negative relationship between humidity and adult numbers in 7 of 12 fields. Significant relationships between temperature and B. hilaris numbers were revealed in regression models for all trials. Slopes were not significantly different among all broccoli blocks or in three of the four cauliflower fields. In greenhouse studies, mating occurred throughout the day but peaked between 1000 and 1600 hours. Females of B. hilaris caused more feeding damage than males on the first true leaf of broccoli, and additional differences in behavior between sexes were observed. Our results suggest that higher temperatures increase field activity and influence the behavior of adult B. hilaris, and temperature is a more reliable indicator to predict the activity of B. hilaris than other environmental parameters measured. The implications of these findings for developing monitoring and management programs for B. hilaris in cruciferous crops are discussed.
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Vol. 106 • No. 4