The actual feeding injury of Creontiades signatus Distant (Heteroptera: Miridae) was compared with a simulated technique during 2005, 2006 and 2008 by injecting varying dilutions of pectinase into cotton bolls at different boll sizes (ages) and into 2 or 4 locules to determine if such a technique could be used to reduce the time and labor involved with conducting economic injury level studies in the field. The most accurate simulation occurred in 2008 by injecting 1 μL of 10% pectinase into all 4 locules of a cotton boll. This improved the relationships of injury score to seed cotton, seed, and lint weights. The youngest boll age class of ≥ 2 cm diam. (2 d of age) was not significantly more damaged than the medium age ≥ 2.5 cm (8 d of age) bolls, and both sustained significantly more injury than the large boll classification of ≥ 3 cm (12 d of age). However, small bolls were at least 3 times more likely to abscise than medium-sized bolls, and large bolls did not abscise regardless of treatment. Some damage was observed for large bolls from the injected and actual feeding compared with the controls, but the lint and seed weights were not significantly different for any of the treatments including the controls. Our study characterizes the feeding injury caused by C. signatus and describes a simulated technique that may be used to further economic injury studies.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2