Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a key pest of fruit and vegetable crops, forages, and cotton (Gossypium spp.) in the western United States. Accurate models describing relationships between temperature and L. hesperus development are critical to the study of seasonal L. hesperus population dynamics. Development of L. hesperus nymphs was assessed at nine constant temperatures from 10 to 37.8°C. The relationships between temperature and development for each L. hesperus instar, and for the entire nymphal stage, were best described by six-parameter biophysical models indicating both low- and high-temperature inhibition of development. Development rates asymptotically approached zero with decreasing temperature in the lower thermal range, and decreased with increasing temperatures above 32.2°C. Nymphs did not survive from egg hatch to adulthood at either 10 or 37.8°C, and nymph mortality was >90% at both 12.8 and 35.0°C. The fifth instar exhibited the longest stadium, whereas the shortest stadia were associated with the second and third instars. Development rates of males and females did not differ, and the ratio of males to females was not different from 1:1 at any temperature. Our temperature-dependent development rate models for L. hesperus nymphs will facilitate control of insect physiological age in controlled laboratory experiments, and should be useful in planning and interpreting field studies on L. hesperus population dynamics.
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Vol. 105 • No. 3