The effect of taxa [common Bermuda grass, Cynodon dactylon (L.); centipedegrass, Eremochloa ophiuroides Munro Hack; St. Augustinegrass, Stenotaphrum secundatum [Walt.] Kuntze; and zoysiagrass, Zoysia spp.], density, height, and weed density on abundance of natural enemies, and their potential prey were evaluated in residential turf. Total predatory Heteroptera were most abundant in St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass and included Anthocoridae, Lasiochilidae, Geocoridae, and Miridae. Anthocoridae and Lasiochilidae were most common in St. Augustinegrass, and their abundance correlated positively with species of Blissidae and Delphacidae. Chinch bugs were present in all turf taxa, but were 23–47 times more abundant in St. Augustinegrass. Anthocorids/lasiochilids were more numerous on taller grasses, as were Blissidae, Delphacidae, Cicadellidae, and Cercopidae. Geocoridae and Miridae were most common in zoysiagrass and were collected in higher numbers with increasing weed density. However, no predatory Heteroptera were affected by grass density. Other beneficial insects such as staphylinids and parasitic Hymenoptera were captured most often in St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass. These differences in abundance could be in response to primary or alternate prey, or reflect the influence of turf microenvironmental characteristics. In this study, Simpson's diversity index for predatory Heteroptera showed the greatest diversity and evenness in centipedegrass, whereas the herbivores and detritivores were most diverse in St. Augustinegrass lawns. These results demonstrate the complex role of plant taxa in structuring arthropod communities in turf. An increased understanding of how turf species and cultivars help shape pest and beneficial arthropod communities will enhance predictive abilities and further pest management objectives.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3