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Characterization of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) Feeding and Oviposition Injury on Celery Seedlings

S. V. Joseph, R. Ahedo, and M. de la Fuente

May 2016


The western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae), can be a serious pest of celery, Apium graveolens dulce (Mill.) Pers. in the Central Coast region of California. Little is known about injury symptoms caused by L. hesperus adults on celery. When celery seedlings were exposed to L. hesperus adults, their crown area was found destroyed with necrotic dead tissue. Destroyed crowns of dead seedlings were observed when seedlings were exposed to five or more L. hesperus adults for >24 h but was not observed on seedlings exposed <12 h. In addition, elongated lesions were noticed on the celery petiole and were significantly greater when exposed to five or more L. hesperus adults for as little as 4 h. Number of elongated lesion injuries and number of eggs recovered from elongated lesions was correlated. Data provide key diagnostic symptoms of L. hesperus feeding and ovipositional injury on celery seedlings. Also, this study expands our understandings on the effects of L. hesperus adult density and duration of exposure which reinforces the need for regular scouting, and immediate management decisions and action to reduce losses from L. hesperus injury in both celery seedlings and mature plants in greenhouse and field settings, respectively.


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