Effects of legume species and plant growth stage on attraction, fecundity, and development of the kudzu bug (Heteroptera: Plataspidae).
The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Heteroptera: Plataspidae), is an invasive pest of soybeans in the southeastern United States. Two greenhouse choice assays evaluated crop species and growth stage-specific orientation preference of kudzu bug adults to six different legume species (Fabales: Fabaceae) at four plant growth stages (V2, V4, R1, and R5). Adults had differential orientation to both legume species and plant growth stages tested. Adults preferred the R1 stage of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) and lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus (L.)), but preferred various growth stages of the other legumes tested. Given their respective attractive growth stages, adults significantly preferred lima bean (47.8%) to soybean (21.9%) and kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris (L.), 19.2%), and preferred mung bean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek, 4.2%), black-eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata (L.) Walp, 4.7%), and green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris (L.), 2.7%) the least. In no-choice assays, females deposited a similar number of eggs on each legume species, except for green bean and kidney bean, on which they deposited the fewest eggs. Eggs laid by females feeding on soybean (67.9%), lima bean (58.1%), and mung bean (42.6%) had significantly greater hatch rates than eggs laid by females feeding on the other legume species. No-choice assays also showed that nymphs completed development to adults on soybean, lima bean, and mung bean; yet, survival was greatest on soybean. Results show that females fed and oviposited on all of the legume species tested; however, plant species significantly affected egg hatch rates and nymphal survival.