Entomology, Department of


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Published in Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 92, Issue 5, October 1999, pp. 1172 – 1176. © 1999 Entomological Society of America. Used by permission.


Blissus occiduus Barber, a relatively small chinch bug characterized by conspicuous wing dimorphism, has emerged as an important insect pest of buffalograss, Buchloe dactylnides (Nuttall) Engelmann. It completes 2 generations a year on buffalograss in Nebraska. Overwintered adults become active as early as mid-March. Depending on the season, 1st-generation nymphs can be present from early May through early August, with 1st-generation adults (up to 60% macropterous forms) appearing in mid to late June. Second generation nymphs can be present from early July through fall, with 2nd-generation adults appearing in late August to early September. These predominately brachypterous (>95%) adults overwinter in and around the turf area. Blissus occiduus was confirmed to be associated with natural buffalograss pastures, seeded and vegetatively propagated buffalograss lawns, right-of-ways, cemeteries, and golf courses in 21 Nebraska counties. Chinch bugs were generally found feeding on the stolons and in the crown area of the buffalograss plant. Initial B. occiduus injury resulted in reddish discoloration of infested plant tissues. As feeding progressed, damage appeared as patchy areas in the turf that turned from yellow to straw-brown. At higher infestation levels, chinch bug feeding resulted in severe thinning or death of the buffalograss stand. Field studies documented buffalograss as a reproductive host of B. occiduus, with Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass identified as potential hosts. Creeping bentgrass, tall fescue, and zoysiagrass did not appear to be suitable turfgrass hosts for B. occiduus

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