Cold Tolerance and Population Dynamics of Leptoglossus zonatus (Hemiptera: Coreidae)

Insects. 2019 Oct 17;10(10):351. doi: 10.3390/insects10100351.


In California's San Joaquin Valley, feeding by the coreid pest, Leptoglossus zonatus, can cause considerable economic loss on almond and pistachio. This research was conducted to improve understanding of how winter temperatures affect mortality of overwintering adult L. zonatus and to develop a better understanding of the role pomegranate plays in the species' life-history. We exposed 7410 field-collected adult L. zonatus to temperatures between -2 and -10 °C for a period of three, four, or six hours using insect incubators. At six hours of exposure, the, LD50 and LD95 occur at -5.8 and -9.7 °C, respectively. We classified L. zonatus as chill-intolerant. Temperatures cold enough to affect substantial mortality of overwintering L. zonatus rarely occur in the San Joaquin Valley. Whole aggregation destructive sampling from a pomegranate hedgerow in Fresno County was conducted to determine population dynamics. At late summer to early fall, aggregations consisted of >90% immature stages. By early to mid-winter, mean aggregation size decreased, consisting of only three to 12 late-instars and adults. During years one and two of the experiment, L. zonatus produced a generation on pomegranate, mostly between September and mid-November. Overwintering did not occur on pomegranate, rather the majority of adults emigrated to other overwintering locations by mid-winter.

Keywords: California’s San Joaquin Valley; almond; egg production; leaffooted bug; overwintering; pomegranate; truebug.