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Assessment of legume and nonlegume ground covers on Coleoptera: Coccinellidae density for low-input pecan management

  • Natasha R. Rice (a1), Michael W. Smith (a2), Raymond D. Eikenbary (a3), Don Arnold (a4), W. Louis Tedders (a5), Bruce Wood (a6), B. Scott Landgraf (a7), Glenn G. Taylor (a8) and Gordon E. Barlow (a8)...


An annual legume cover crop was evaluated in pecan orchards to increase coccinellids that would reduce pecan aphids. Treatments were a ‘Dixie’ crimson clover and hairy vetch mixture and a grass sod. Coccinellids were abundant on the legume ground covers, but coccinellid density in the tree canopy was rarely affected by ground cover treatment. There were substantial differences between the coccinellid species collected from the legumes and from the trees. In Oklahoma, Olla v-nigrum (Mulsant) and Cycloneda munda (Say) were the main species in the trees, while Hippodamia convergens Guerin, Coccinella septempunctata L, and Coleomegilla maculata lengi Timberlake were dominant species in the legumes. In Georgia, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) was the dominant species in the trees, and C. septempunctata in the legumes. Pecan aphids at two Oklahoma sites usually were not affected by cover crop treatment, but at the Georgia site, early-season aphids frequently were lower with a legume cover crop than with a grass sod. The accumulated effect of all aphid predators and parasitoids attracted to the legume aphids may have reduced the density of the pecan aphid.


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Corresponding author is M.W. Smith:


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