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Neotropical Entomology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-566X

Neotrop. entomol. vol.40 no.6 Londrina nov./dic. 2011 



An invasive pentatomid pest in Argentina: neotropical brown Stink bug, Euschistus heros (F.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)



A SalusoI; L XavierI; FAC SilvaII; AR PanizziII

ILab de Entomologia Aplicada, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuária, Oro Verde, Entre Rios, Argentina
IILab de Entomologia Embrapa Trigo, Passo Fundo, RS, Brasil





This is the first record on the invasion of the Neotropical brown stink bug, Euschistus heros (F.) in Paraná County (latitude 31º 51' 9.6" S, longitude 60º 32' 11.2" W), Entre Ríos province, Argentina. Five adults were intercepted in 2009/2010, one in crop residues and four on soybean fields. The expanding range in the distribution of E. heros in the Southern Hemisphere is believed to be due to the increased commercial trade among countries, increase in the area cultivated with soybean, and the adoption of no-tillage cropping systems.

Keywords: Insecta, Heteroptera, soybean



Soybean (Glycine max) is a growing important crop in Argentina, including the area located in Entre Ríos province (Fig 1). In the 2007/2008 season, 1.12 millon ha were cultivated with soybean in the province, which is over 60% of the total area cultivated in the country (Rodríguez & Cancio 2009).



Caterpillars and stink bugs are main insect pests that damage soybean in Argentina, in particular the later that cause irreversible damage to developing seeds (Gamundi & Sosa 2008). In the Entre Ríos province, the stink bug complex is formed by Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood) (44.5%), Nezara viridula (L.) (21.0%), Edessa meditabunda (F.) (18.5%), and Dichelops furcatus (F.) (16.0%) (Saluso et al 2007).

During 2009, field surveys of stink bugs were conducted at the Paraná Field Experiment Station, in Paraná county, Entre Ríos province, Argentina (31º 51' 9.6" S, 60º 32' 11.2" W). Surveys were taken by using sweep net and beat cloth on plants (cultivated and wild) and by examining crop residues on the ground. During September, 2009 a single female of the Neotropical brown stink bug, Euschistus heros (F.), was intercepted from crop residues. Later, during the soybean cultivation on March-April 2010, another four adults (three females and one male) were collected from soybean plants. To our knowledge, this is the first record on the occurrence of E. heros in Argentina. Specimens of Euschistus have been mentioned to occur on soybean in the Santa Fe province in that country (Gamundi et al 2007); however, these bugs are not available to allow further examination to confirm their taxonomic status. Traditionally, pentatomids of the genus Euschistus are not referred to occur as pests in Argentina (Rizzo 1976).

Euschistus heros is known to be fast expanding in Brazil towards the Southern Region. Once rare on soybean (Panizzi et al 1977), this stink bug is the most common species on this crop nowadays, even in areas where its occurrence was uncommon, such as in Rio Grande do Sul state (Roggia 2009). Its presence in Paraná, Entre Ríos, is probably due to the tremendous increase in numbers of this bug in Brazil in recent years and the intense commercial trade between Argentina, Brazil and Chile, using mostly roads. In addition, the augmentation in the area cultivated with soybean and the adoption of no-tillage cultivation systems of major crops in a large scale in Argentina may be favoring the population increase of E. heros. Global warming is also suspected to be favoring its increase; this bug is known to be better adapted to the warmer regions of Brazil (Cividanes & Parra 1994). Euchistus heros is also known to search for shelter on crop residues during unsuitable conditions (Panizzi & Niva 1994), and this is believed to be strongly pushing its abundance. Interesting to note that E. heros has not been found yet in Uruguay, which is close and within the similar latitude of Entre Ríos (Fig 1), despite the survey efforts in that country (M S Zerbino, personal communication to A R P). However, we suspect that its invasion to this country is a matter of time.

The invasion of E. heros in Argentina, and much probably its expansion toward other neighboring soybean producer countries is an invasive event of great concern. This bug is an important pest in Brazil where it first appeared causing severe damage and demands a massive use of insecticides every year. Therefore, the newly invaded areas should be effectively monitored and control measures should be implemented once it is detected to avoid its establishment and population growth.



Thanks are due to D. R. Soza Gomes for critical reading this note. This research is part of the Prosul Research Project number 490315/2008-9 sponsored by the National Research Council of Science and Technology Development (CNPq) of Brazil in collaboration with the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INTA) of Argentina. Approved for publication by the Editorial Board of Embrapa Soja 015/2010.



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Saluso A, Ermácora O, Anglada M, Toledo C, Borguesan C (2007) Principales invertebrados plagas de la soja y técnicas utilizadas en la toma de decisiones (Campaña agrícola 2006-2007). Rev Cient Agropec 11: 153-158.         [ Links ]



Antônio R Panizzi
Embrapa Trigo, Passo Fundo, RS

Received 06 July 2010 and accepted 11 April 2011



Edited by Fernando L Cônsoli - ESALQ/USP

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