Seasonal Migration and Overwintering Habitats of Chinch Bug (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) in Northeastern Mississippi
The chinch bug, Blissus leucopterus leucopterus (Say), has become an important early-season pest of corn, Zea mays L., in the southeastern United States. Information on overwintering of chinch bugs is available but it is primarily from studies conducted in the central and midwestern states. Studies were conducted to describe chinch bug overwintering sites, changes in population densities in bromesedge, Andropogon virginicus L., and the timing of spring and fall flights from and to overwintering sites in a northeastern Mississippi environment during a three year period. Adults were found to over winter in many sites on the study area. High numbers of chinch bugs were found to congregate in bromesedge plants along roadsides or within cut-over woodland. Adults began to move into bromesedge for overwintering in September, but the largest increase occurred in October. Winter mortality from December to the end of February was slight probably because of mild winters during the three year study. Adult numbers in bromesedge began to decline in March as insects began to leave the overwintering site, and the rate of evacuation increased rapidly as temperatures warmed in April. Significant negative correlations were found to exist between the decline in numbers of chinch bugs in bromesedge and spring daily average and maximum temperatures. Fall and spring flight to and from overwintering sites based on captures of adults on aerial traps were found to be in general agreement with the timing of adult increase and decline on bromesedge.
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