Annual pitfall trapping during a 10-year period indicated that outbreaks of false chinch bugs, Nysius raphanus Howard, occurred in 2005, 2009, and 2010 in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. During these outbreaks, feeding by false chinch bugs appeared to cause widespread damage to rangeland shrubs. In 2009, a study was initiated to compare survival between shrubs infested by false chinch bugs and shrubs not infested. Fifty-one spiny saltbush, Atriplex spinifera J.F. Macbr. shrubs (<0.5 m in height) were selected, of which 26 had been infested and 25 had not been infested by false chinch bugs. Fifteen months later, survival of the false chinch bug-infested shrubs (22%) was significantly less (P < 0.001) than non-infested shrubs (96%). Results indicated that false chinch bugs (during outbreak years) can significantly depress survival of young saltbush shrubs.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3