Tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), nymphs and adults were collected from tall goldenrod, Solidago canadensis L. var. scabra Torr. and Gray, in Washington County, MS, during October and November 2008 and 2009. Adults were dissected to determine their reproductive status in order to evaluate host suitability of tall goldenrod relative to production of overwintering tarnished plant bug adults. Mean numbers of nymphs each week on tall goldenrod were used to evaluate the plant as a reproductive host. Results showed that tall goldenrod served as a reproductive host from flowering until a killing freeze occurred (5 weeks in 2008 and 10 weeks in 2009) with mean numbers as great as 58.7 ± 25.7 nymphs per 25-sweep sample. Most tarnished plant bug adults utilizing tall goldenrod as a host were in diapause for overwintering by the end of the second week in October of both years. A laboratory test showed tarnished plant bug adults could utilize mature tall goldenrod seeds as food. A field test was used to compare host suitability of tall goldenrod and blooming henbit, Lamium amplexicaule L., with regard to the timing of diapause termination in tarnished plant bug adults. Adults were collected on the same dates in December and January from tall goldenrod and from blooming henbit and dissected to determine reproductive status. Results showed the possible feeding of adults on tall goldenrod seeds had little effect on diapause termination as compared to adults that fed on henbit and began terminating diapause about 3 weeks earlier. This information will be useful in developing controls to reduce the size of the overwintering generation of tarnished plant bug.
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Vol. 36 • No. 3