Stink bug species composition, seasonal abundance, varietal preference, and feeding injury in Virginia raspberry

Monday, November 11, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Sanjay Basnet , Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Douglas G. Pfeiffer , Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Thomas P. Kuhar , Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Curt A. Laub , Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Raspberry (Rubus species) has been widely grown in Virginia and the stink bugs have had significant impact in its production in recent years. Stink bugs were sampled in primocane-bearing raspberry plantings in southwestern Virginia in 2008 and 2009 and resumed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. We compared the diversity indices before and after the introduction of invasive H. halys. We did not find the major changes in Shannon diversity index (H) of the stink bug species in each year sampled; however, Shannon's equability (E­­­H)  increased. Increase in the species evenness in the latter years is due to the decrease in the abundance of E. servus and establishment of H. halys. Altogether, sixteen species of stink bugs were found. Euschistus servus (Say) was the predominant species in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Halyomorpha halys (Stål) was not found in 2008 or 2009 survey, but the population slowly build up in 2011 and 2012, and became the most abundant stink bug species in 2013. Stink bugs were found on plants from mid-July to September, which corresponds to the presence of fruit. Stink bugs, both the nymph and adult, were observed feeding on the fruiting structures of raspberry which suggests that raspberry is the preferable feeding host of stink bugs. Adult population of stink bugs was significantly higher than the nymphs, and no egg masses were collected. Therefore, it did not appear to be a good reproductive host.