The economic threshold (ET) for multiple pest species that share the same injury type on host plants (feeding guild) has been proposed for decision-making in integrated management framework of many defoliating insect pests. However, only a few consider agricultural pests with sucking mouthparts. This study presents the first injury equivalency system for the feeding guild made up of three rice (Oryza sativa L.) planthopper (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) species—Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), Sogatella furcifera (Harváth), and Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén)—by using relative amount of honeydew excretion of each species. The intraspecific injury equivalent coefficient was determined; this coefficient provides an exchange rate for different developmental stages in a species. N. lugens was chosen as the standard species to obtain interspecific injury equivalents for other individuals in the guild, allowing estimates of total guild injury feasible. For extension purposes, the injury equivalency was simplified by pooling all nymphs and adults in the guild to mitigate the potential confusion resulting from uncertainty of instars or wing form. A matrix of ETs established on previous studies and incorporating changes of management cost and rice price was used and served as a control decision guide for the guild samples. The validity of the proposed injury equivalency system was tested using several field data sets, and the results are generally promising and meaningfully elevate the accuracy of estimating combined injury and damage to rice, suggesting that the proposed system is a better integrated pest management decision-making system compared with conventional practices.
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Vol. 106 • No. 2