The impact of brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), and southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.), injury was evaluated on preflowering and flowering cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., plants in no-choice tests. Vegetative stage cotton seedlings and reproductive structures, including flower buds (square) and bolls, were infested with adults and/or nymphs of both species. There were no significant differences in height, height to node ratio, square retention, and flower initiation for cotton seedlings or plants with a match-head square between southern green stink bug adult- or brown stink bug adult-infested and noninfested treatments. Abscission for individual large squares (precandle) and multiple squares (medium and small square on the same sympodial branch) was not significantly different among infested and noninfested treatments for the following species and developmental stages: brown stink bug adults, southern green stink bug adults, and third and fourth to fifth instar southern green stink bug nymphs. In boll infestation studies, the relationship between boll maturity, expressed as heat units beyond anthesis, and boll growth, abscission, hard locked carpels, seedcotton yield, and seed germination was measured. Brown stink bug induced abscission in bolls that had accumulated >0–350 heat units beyond anthesis. Boll growth and seedcotton yield was significantly lower for bolls infested with brown stink bug through 266.5 and 550 heat units beyond anthesis, respectively. The proportion of hard locked carpels per boll was significantly greater for the infested treatment in a cohort of bolls that accumulated from 51 to 400 heat units beyond anthesis. Seed germination in bolls infested with brown stink bug was significantly lower in bolls aged 101–600 heat units beyond anthesis.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3