U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY Vol. 99, no. 1.


Chinch bugs are common pests of many agronomic and horticulturally important crops and turfgrasses. Previous research has indicated that some grasses exhibit resistance to multiple chinch bug species, whereas others are resistant to only one species. The objectives of this research were to document differences in the probing frequencies and locations among Blissus species as well as differences in mouthpart morphology as a first step in understanding the differential responses of grasses to chinch bug feeding. Scanning electron microscopy detected differences in the total lengths of proboscises as well as individual mouthpart segments among the four species studied. Blissus occiduus Barber probed significantly more often on buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides (Nuttall) Engelmann, than any other plant material. Probing locations of B. occiduus and Blissus leucopterus leucopterus (Say) were similar on both B. occiduus-resistant and susceptible buffalograsses and KS94 sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (B. occiduus-resistant, B. l. leucopterus-resistant). However, on ‘Wheatland’ sorghum (B. occiduus -resistant, B. l. leucopterus-susceptible), stylet tracts of B. l. leucopterus most often terminated in the bundle sheath cells, whereas those of B. occiduus generally terminated in the vascular tissues.