A Field Key to the Most Common Lygus Species Found in Agronomic Crops of the Central San Joaquin Valley of California

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This key can be used to distinguish between three species of Lygus reportedly found in agronomic crops in Central Joaquin Valley of California. Lygus hesperus Knight (western tarnished plant bug) is the predominant species found, while Lygus elisus Van Duzee (pale legume bug) is observed less frequently. Lygus lineolaris Palisot de Beauvois (tarnished plant bug) has been reported from the Central San Joaquin Valley, but is rarely found in field crops. Being able to correctly identify the various Lygus species may improve interpretation of research results or enhance research progress in areas such as biological control and assessment of economic damage. Studies of overwintering habitat and intercrop movement will also be facilitated.

Shannon C. Mueller
Charles G. Summers
Peter B. Goodell
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources