Establishment of threecornered alfalfa hopper (Spissistilus festinus) as a pest of peanut (Arachis hypogaea)
Beyer, Brendan Allen
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Field and greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the economic injury level of the threecornered alfalfa hopper, Spissistilus festinus, (Say), using early and late season infestations, and increasing levels of nymphal infestation rates in cages to isolate the plants from outside S. festinus populations. Significant yield and plant biomass losses in both field and greenhouse settings were recorded only when using damage as a metric. Greenhouse observations noted a significant preference of feeding based on instar and plant maturity. A second experiment was implemented to establish the foundation for a comprehensive sampling program of S. festinus in peanut using the sweep net and beat sheet as relative samples of adults and nymphs, respectively, to compare to absolute samples of nymphs and the progression of damage. Sampling indicates the possibility of using sweep nets and beat sheets to estimate the true population and damage based on the time of season.