The current study investigated the seasonal phenology, spatial distribution, feeding damage and economic impact of two plant bugs, Lygocoris inconspicuous Knight and Taedia scrupeus Say, in commercial vineyards. For both plant bugs, densities of nymphs were higher on vines located near the edge of woodlots rather than in the interior of vineyards, which may be attributed to the presence of wild vines and other alternate host-plants in wooded areas. Nymphs of both species fed on apical leaves and developing fruit clusters of vine shoots, initiating development after swelling of buds in the spring and reaching the adult stage when vines were in bloom. Confining high densities of L. inconspicuous (10 nymphs) on individual shoots early in the season resulted in significant reduction of the number of fruit clusters per shoot, even when feeding was restricted to short (7 d) duration; the average weight of fruit clusters, in contrast, was not affected to a large extent by feeding activity of nymphs. An experiment evaluating the impact of low density of L. inconspicuous (0–0.3 nymphs per shoot) indicated a marginally significant negative relationship between density of nymphs and average weight of fruit clusters. Control measures may be economically justified when population density exceeds a combined threshold of one nymph of either L. inconspicuous or T. scrupeus per 10 shoots of vines.
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Vol. 95 • No. 2