Fall Armyworm Symposium: Deraecoris Nebulosus (Heteroptera: Miridae): Little Known Predator in Cotton in the Mississippi Delta

Gordon L. Snodgrass

Abstract


A population of the predaceous mirid, Deraecoris nebulosus (Uhler), was sampled in cotton infested with the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, at Stoneville, Mississippi during July and August 1988. During this period the population density of this mirid reached 14 nymphs and adults per meter of row (> 137,000 per ha). Adults and nymphs were frequently observed in the field feeding on cotton aphids. In laboratory feeding tests adults averaged feeding on as many as 7 cotton aphids, or 26 eggs of the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (F.), per day. First instar larvae of the tobacco budworm and beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hubner), were also accepted as food. These results show that this mirid should be considered a beneficial insect in cotton and that it may occur in numbers large enough to have an impact on populations of pest insects.

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