Influence of trap color on collection of the recently introduced Bean Plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae).
Large numbers of the exotic bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae). were first collected from several northeast Georgia counties beginning in October 2009 (Suiter and Ames 2009, Statewide Pest Alert). How this insect arrived in the United States and where it came from is still not known. The native range of M. cribraria is reported to be throughout Asia and the Indian Subcontinent (Hosokawa et at 2007 t Proc. R. Soc. B. 274: 1979 -1984; Srinivasaperumal et aI. 1992, Proc.lndian Natn. Sci. Acad. 6: 333 - 340; Hua 2000, List of Chinese Insects. Vol. 1, Zhong-shan Univ. Press. Guangzhou. 251 pp.). It is similar to other Plataspidae in having a somewhat unusual symbiotic relationship with its gut bacteria. Before laying eggs, females deposit particles containing the symbiont which are then eaten by newly-hatched nymphs under natural conditions. Nymphs experimentally deprived of access to the symbiont exhibited slower growth, smaller body sizes, and higher mortality. Thus, presence of the obligate symbiont was predictive of the insect's status as a pest (Hosokawa at al. 2007). Preliminary testing of M. cribraria in Georgia showed that all individuals evaluated contained the symbiont (Jenkins et a1. 2010, J. Entomol. Sci. 45: 62 - 63).