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1 March 2013 The Bean Plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), a New Invader in Florida
Julio Medal, Susan Halbert, Andrew Santa Cruz
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Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), known by the common names: bean plataspid, kudzu bug, lablag bug and globular stink bug, was found in North Florida in Mar 2012, the first report of this insect in Florida. On Mar 27, 2012, one M. cribraria adult was found in a Lingdgren funnel trap at the Port of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (N 30.34617° W -81.62191°); however, it was not known if there was an established population in this area or if this was simply an interception. On 15 Apr 2012, three M. cribraria adults were hand collected in a kudzu (Pueraria montana Lour (Merr.) variety ‘lobata’ (Willd.) (Fabales: Fabaceae) patch in McAlpin, Suwannee, County, Florida (N 30.10925° W -82.88408°). In early May 2012, personnel from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Plant Industry (DPI) and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS), conducted surveys of kudzu patches in Jefferson, Leon and Madison Counties, Florida. Sweep-netting and hand-catches yielded several dozen M. cribraria adults. An additional find occurred in Jun 2012 in Alachua County. In this case, a single adult M. cribraria was found in kudzu plant material collected in Gainesville, Florida. Subsequently, 2 more adult specimens were collected on kudzu plants at the same location, confirming this new county record. Megacopta cribraria adults were reported on 15 Aug 2012 in a soybean field in Gadsden County, Florida. (Russ Mizell III, personal communication). In Sep 2012, M. cribraria was found in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties and in Oct it was found in Columbia, Hamilton and Gilchrist Counties. Voucher specimens were deposited in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville, Florida. In total, M. cribraria was recorded in the following locations: N 30.25563° W -82.16611°; N 30.31766° W -81.75049°; N 30.53099° W -83.63109°; N 30.60597° W -83.8717°; N 30.53583° W -84.01837°; N 30.66415° W -83.87859°; N 30.64562° W -81.87074°; N 29.94169° W -82.10981°; N 29.639705° W -82.39892°; N 29.30659° W -82.15203°; N 28.42612° W -82.19043°; N 27.98159° W -82.29661°; N 29.95232° W -82.59689°; and N 30.5244° W -83.09296° in 16 Florida counties (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Duval, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Pasco, Suwannee) (Figs. 1 and 2); these figures are reproduced in color in the online supplementary document at  http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/entomologist/browse.

The first USA find of M. cribraria was in northeastern Georgia in the fall of 2009, and since then it has spread through South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia ( www.cbsatlanta.com; Roberts 2011; Suiter et al. 2010a, 2010b). This piercing sucking insect is closely related to stink bugs in the family Pentatomidae. It is native to Asia where it is an agricultural pest of soybean, Glycine max Merrill (Fabales: Fabaceae), other species of legumes and fruit trees (Li et al. 2001; Wang et al. 2004; Eger et al. 2010). In the infested areas of the USA, M. cribraria seems to prefer feeding on the invasive kudzu plant (Zhang et al. 2012). Additionally, it was reported feeding on caged fig trees, Ficus carica L. (Rosales: Moaceae), in Auburn, Alabama (Hu & Carroll 2012). It is expected that this insect will continue to expand its host range, and that its geographical range will expand into the northeastern USA. This new invader has the potential to cause significant agricultural losses (USDA-APHIS 2010).

Fig. 1.

Distribution (green) of Megacopta Cribraria in north Florida.

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Fig. 2.

Kudzu and Megacopta cribraria in Florida. A. Kudzu patch in Alachua County, Florida. B. Megacopta cribraria on kudzu in Jefferson County, Florida. C. Dorsal view of a male Megacopta cribraria. Photographs courtesy of the following: A: Julio Medal, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry; B: Bradley A. Danner, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, CAPS; C: Joseph E. Eger, Dow AgroSciences LLC.

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SUMMARY

The bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), is reported in Florida for the first time. It was found during Mar-Oct 2012 in kudzu patches (Pueraria montana Lour (Merr.) (Fabales: Fabaceae) in 16 Florida counties. Its host range includes kudzu, soybean (Glycine max Merrill; Fabales: Fabaceae), and other legume crops (Medal et al. unpublished data).

Key Words: kudzu bug, invasive pest, soybean, southeastern USA

RESUMEN

El chinche asiático conocido como ‘Bean Plataspid’, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), es reportado por primera vez en la Florida. Fué encontrado durante marzo a octubre del 2012 en campos de kudzu (Pueraria montana Lour (Merr.) (Fabales: Fabaceae) en 16 condados de Florida, El rango de plantas hospederas incluye soya (Glycine max Merrill; Fabales: Fabaceae), y otros cultivos de leguminosas (Medal el al., datos no publicados).

Palabras Clave: chinche del kudzu, plaga invasora, soya, sureste de los Estados Unidos

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank Drs. Trevor Smith, Leroy Whilby, Michael Thomas and Paul Skelley for reviews of the manuscript. We are grateful to all of the members and contributors of the CAPS survey effort. Such work has provided illuminating data on the distribution of a previously little-known species. This research was approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry for publication as contribution # 1217.

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Julio Medal, Susan Halbert, and Andrew Santa Cruz "The Bean Plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), a New Invader in Florida," Florida Entomologist 96(1), 258-260, (1 March 2013). https://doi.org/10.1653/024.096.0140
Published: 1 March 2013
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