Susceptibility of twolined spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) life stages to entomophagous arthropods in turfgrass.
Prosapia bicincta (Say) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae), the twolined spittlebug, is an economic pest of turfgrass in the southeastern United States. No data concerning natural enemies of P. bicincta in turfgrass have been reported previously. We compared predation of spittlebug eggs, nymphs, and adults in the laboratory by potential generalist predators commonly found in turfgrass: bigeyed bugs Geocoris uliginosus Say and Geocoris punctipes Say; red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren; wolf spiders (Lycosa sp. Walckenaer); carabid beetles Harpalaus pensylvanicus DeGeer and Calosoma sayi Dejean; and tiger beetles Megacephala carolina carolina L. Eggs were readily consumed by generalist predators. S. invicta consumed 100% of the eggs offered. H. pensylvanicus and C. sayi were also significant predators of P. bicincta eggs. Nymphs live in spittlemasses that protect them from attack by predators, but exposed nymphs were susceptible to attack when mechanically removed from their spittlemasses. S. invicta and M. carolina carolina caused significant mortality of exposed nymphs. P. bicincta adults are aposematic and have the ability to reflex bleed; however, reflex bleeding did not prevent attack by predators. S. invicta and M. carolina carolina killed 100% of the adult spittlebugs offered in laboratory bioassays. Lycosa sp. are less voracious predators of adults. Sound background knowledge about P. bicincta and its potential natural enemy complex is important for the development and implementation of a detailed, site-specific, biologically based pest management program in turfgrass.