Microscopic Examination of Tarnished Plant Bug (Heteroptera: Miridae) Feeding Damage to Strawberry

  • Handley D
  • Pollard J
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Light and scanning electron microscopy were used to assess feeding damage caused by tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), to strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne). Holes found in strawberry achenes after feeding were consistent with the size and shape of tarnished plant bug stylets. Insects observed while feeding during early fruit development stages (i.e., anthesis to petal fall) repeatedly penetrated achenes with their stylets. In later stages of fruit development, feeding sites changed to receptacle tissue, although usually near an achene. Achene injury during early fruit development stages is the most likely cause of the apical seediness malformation commonly associated with tarnished plant bug. Feeding during later developmental stages probably results in more localized damage, including creases and indentations.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fragaria X ananassa
  • Lygus lineolaris
  • fruit development

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  • David T Handley

  • James E Pollard

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