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1 June 2009 Identification of Cotton Fleahopper (Hemiptera: Miridae) Host Plants in Central Texas and Compendium of Reported Hosts in the United States
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The cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter), is an early-season pest of developing cotton in Central Texas and other regions of the Cotton Belt. Cotton fleahopper populations develop on spring weed hosts and move to cotton as weed hosts senesce or if other weed hosts are not readily available. To identify weed hosts that were seasonably available for the cotton fleahopper in Central Texas, blooming weed species were sampled during early-season (17 March-31 May), mid-season (1 June-14 August), late-season (15 August-30 November), and overwintering (1 December-16 March) periods. The leading hosts for cotton fleahopper adults and nymphs were evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa T. Nuttall) and Mexican hat [Ratibida columnifera (T. Nuttall) E. Wooton and P. Standley], respectively, during the early season. During the mid-season, silver-leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium A. Cavanilles) was consistently a host for fleahopper nymphs and adults. Woolly croton (Croton capitatus A. Michaux) was a leading host during the late season. Cotton fleahoppers were not collected during the overwintering period. Other suitable hosts were available before previously reported leading hosts became available. Eight previously unreported weed species were documented as temporary hosts. A compendium of reported hosts, which includes >160 plant species representing 35 families, for the cotton fleahopper is provided for future research addressing insect-host plant associations. Leading plant families were Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, and Onagraceae. Results presented here indicate a strong argument for assessing weed species diversity and abundance for the control of the cotton fleahopper in the Cotton Belt.

J. F. Esquivel and S. V. Esquivel "Identification of Cotton Fleahopper (Hemiptera: Miridae) Host Plants in Central Texas and Compendium of Reported Hosts in the United States," Environmental Entomology 38(3), 766-780, (1 June 2009).
Received: 28 July 2008; Accepted: 1 March 2009; Published: 1 June 2009

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