The cotton stainer (Dysdercus suturellus H.-Schf.)

Material Information

The cotton stainer (Dysdercus suturellus H.-Schf.)
Hunter, W. D ( Walter David ), 1875-1925
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C.
U.S. G.P.O.
Publication Date:


Federal Government Publication ( MARCTGM )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
29684554 ( ALEPH )
27931588 ( OCLC )

Full Text

L. 0. HOW \RD. "r. u an. Chf of Buuxu


W. I). I[[ 'J i.- ,
In ('ar, >/ o'~~nI~ ~,

^X~ts(T I &W EI I l T PI I S OFIC : 1,W., .

L. 0. HOWARD, Entomologist and 'l/i,'of Bureau.
C. L. MARLATT, Entomologist and Ictrgl' Chief in Absence of Chief.
R. S. (I'LiHT'N, Executive Assistant.
W. F. TASTET, Chief Clerk.
F. H. CHITTENDEN, in charge of truck crop and stored product insect investigations.
A. D. HOPKINS, in charge of forest insect investigations.
W. D. HUNTER, in chur], of southern field crop insect nir ctijat;inis.
F. M. WEBSTER, in charge of cereal andfoiragc insect ini.cs;.'tion;,s
A. L. QUAINTANCE, in charge of deciduous fruit insect investigations.
E. F. PHILLIPS, in charge of bee culture.
D. M. ROGERS, in charge of preventing spread of moths, field work.
ROLLA P. 4 'I' R IF in riargr, of editorial work.
MABEL COLCORD, in charge of lihrory

W. D. HUNTER, in charge.

F. C. BISHOPP, A. H. JENNINGS, H. P. WOOD, W. V. KING, (inmagcdin tick Jife-history
MORELAND, engaged in cotton-boll weevil investigations.
A. C. MORGAN, G. A. RUNNER, S. E. CRUMB, D. C. PARMAN, cngafid in tobacco insect
T. E. HOLLOWAY, J. L. WEBB, E. R. BARBER, engaged in sugar cane and rice insect
i;1 tS;'ja'lloris.
E. A. MCGREGOR, W. A. THOMAS, engaged in red spider and other cotton insect in esti-
R A. COOLEY, D. L. VAN DINE, A. F. ('ONRADI, C. C. KRUMBHAAR, collaborators


United States Department of Agriculture,

L. 0. HOWARD, k.ntoumulugpt and Chief of Bureau.

j"114,l, r,,,#, sutturllu. h i
By W. I). 1it r EiR,
In I 'j f So.uthern Fi, M >'rp jIner't Inrf:tigut'wns.


The cotton stainer 1(Dy) sdereus .uturllus II.-Schf.) is the only
repre-ntat ive in the united States of a lar;. '-r,,,-I of o pe, iws which
includes the most important enemies of cotton inII tropical countries.

FjO. 1.-The cotton ltin r DydrA tu rdium): a, Nymph, or larw' drt f te: h, ny ph.
,Aeofd tn ge; i ny mph, thr ta .,, 'rm Inr Lik

There are -_, species of thlie .riiii,- known in thle ATneri1as. Til'
formn which occur, in the United States is not ,'f vvrv .':, impor-
t In le. on account of its local restriction, but in Florida it i- Tn-
Iloubteillyv the most important cotton insect t0lt exist- at pres'11t.
It has been knii\\i 'i an enemy to cotton in that State for miany
vyear- but has never shown aInyI tendency to spre to r to other -r.ii'', l-.
276'-12 1

I-i d % .'yr.


2 Till. COTTON .'JI.\INlB.

The cotton stainer of the United Sthi,, is known only from Floridhi
(;Ceoiri;. and portions of South Carolina and Alabama. Except in
Florida it occurs in small numbers.
Outside of the United States this insect is known from the upper
West Indian T-linid., namely, Buliani.,. Cilbi. and Porto Rico.
There is a doubtful record of its occurrence in Brazil. The evidence
available at this time seems to show rather conclusively, howe%'- r.
that it does not extend south of Porto Rico. In the lower islands
of the West Indies it is replaced by other species.
The following description of the adult insect is taken from an
account by Dr. L. 0. Howard.'
"The adult iui._ varies in length from 10 mm. to 15 mm. (0.4 to 0.6
inch). The hinder portion of the thorax and of the wing-covers varies
from dark brown to blHk, the latter being,, crossed with narrow
lines of light yellow, as shown in FigLur, 52, b [fig. 2, b]. The head
and forepart of the thorax are red, varying from light to dark. Tihe
underside of the body is bright r1d. with the segments outlined by
narrow light-yellow bands. The antenna are l1,l-k, as are also all
tibie and tarsi; the femora or thighs are red. The beak is red,
except the last joint which is black. All of these colorational mark-
ings vary considerably in intensity."
The (L:,_, are oval, light yellow in color, and when malgnified
show a finely reticulated surface. Thiy are deposited loosely in
the sand or earth or upon the food plants. Each female deposits
about 100 eggs.
The immature stages of this insect (fig. 1) resemble the adult in
form and colri.itiii. although the general color of the body is some-
what more reddish.
The cotton stainer has a number of food pl;mkit. The only ones
of any special importance aside from cotton are the orimne and the
(4 .lI:i1it. The damage to cotton far surpasses that to the other
plants. In the case of the orange the habit of the insect is to attack
the fruit at about the time it is ripening. This is evidently a tem-
porary habit, probably induced by the general scarcity of the normal
food plants at the time the oranges are ripening. The injury to
.p'l:,p1iits was recorded in 1896 by Prof. A. L. Quaintance. but
does not seem to have been considerable.
\A in ni the wild plants upon which this insect feeds are Hibis-
cus sp., as well as several others including uava, Spanish cocklebur
I Insect Life, vol. 1, pp. 237-238,1689.


1 1,,,, lob0t4tt), amnd Ini:olfiu~L deq _ar,, iu, Ii.). Oh-mi, r ii'ri,
,I ILlI in tle vicinity (I Irl nt, I!01 .. l I )rI \I I f, rri ll int) I v te
llit the Spanith ccklebur i- pro lI l the mo' ie iilmp.I rtnlit of tles'e
I'rtom conservation nlmae iln lit Bli itntuts il 1.S7.T, Mr. E. A.
S !ih%!ii,. t io i(Ii'd th tui itis spIeics i: lnt 1iem nf r0 ,rni..t inil}Mrlttilt'e iin ti ,t' iNlaindB Ii i 1.iri i (Lc tvietd 111 1 lturally 1lii,,ult. to e>sthin tt+. In f,,n+ ii-tt1nlic ,,oinled
,ii I )r. MSorrill, tit cot nipletht Irhstiitiuti f 2*) aicn1 1 1 1. ii: l. Ie
u>t li>[i waS aItrii t I It td v tis insect. (;4 1t Ic tll, k Itiwrvc, th% ifjIIIv
thi. Fm noi t extend finlien than i stlie ,.*'t ii. a1 q p ti, o i f lie croTI

,\ !.

1 \J )" [
,' /

.. 'N ,

I rutii Inlit't LAtD'.
Dpri 'iii',I on t il 1 alntattion. A (a. refen IIrr t to y 1)r. Morill is
undoubtedly typical. In this in<11 s ln11 It IHawthorn. Fla., in 1'll,_2.
il I 1l)U t18dl IV ic 1. It I I Ii' 1~-~ lc a fit cI V~ .i Ill dI :Ita iii P111ill
nl',,, l I t ha'' lales of I, -.pple cvolttonl wvere .'iriiil at ia ceI'tain
establishnlient. ()tt If )iis inU l 'on Im le, ah e it 1 -a-se' as staini ed.
Stiiiiia,.z rediluces tlit vahle o the cotton il \.; '. iiL- 1 _']> ii ll li1i
frli',l .">I per cent in s1v1) cI ases- d,1wn to .% or I0 per cenlt.
It has generally Ieen k"i.'1 ,-'ed that the ('.ii.i": of the fihcr was
ti tin to tile excrement of the in1'cct, hut )Dr. Mwrrill : 1o 1serations
in Fliiil see. m t1 idt t t a to M, t i- lot the true e\]'l.,1.,ti Of.
From studies in Othe tiehls I Lta l experinej nts ill ra it.i .i -, litie v.,,,,
to tile cI'V i l, -i.'hi that tlie s- Iiiiit'I: of the lint i- the rie ult I of tle
attack l Hill. >(> BHr, Ellt., I.+. S. lhpt. .\gr+, Ii).0 p. 97+


at about the time of the opening of the bolls. Thle brownish color
appears to arise from the injured seed. At any rate the examination
of considerable seed cotton showed practically invariably that the
stain was most dense immediately surrounding the seed. Another
reason for the conclusion at which Dr. Morrill arrived was that the
amount of staining found was generally entirely too great to be
accounted for by the excrement of the insect, although there is no
doubt that a portion of this stain is due to that cause.1


One habit of the insect makes it amenable to simple control meas-
ures. This is its tendency to develop in close colonies restricted for a
long time to one or at most to a very few plants. At such times tlhe
red color of thel bugs makes them conspicuous objects When they
are fiundu, it is an easy matter to destroy them by jarring them into
buckets contihiiniig a little water and a few drops of kerosene. This
will be found perfectly satisfactory and an economical method of
control. In special cases the purchase of spraying machinery and
the application of kerosene emulsion may be justified. By practicing
thle destruction of the colonies scrupulously through the season
practically all can be destroyed before they have an opportunity to
injure cultivated plants. As has been noted, the weed known as
Spanish cocklebur should be watched especially. Of course the
planter will realize that preventing the growing of this useless plant
and others that support the bug will have the effect of an insurance
against injury to his crops.
At certain sez', ins, especially in the fall and early spring, the cotton
stainer can be attracted to baits. Cottonseed or sugar cane are
very suitable for this purpose, more especially the former. If small
heaps of cottonseed are placed in the cotton fields or in their imme-
diate vicinity, it will be found that they soon become densely cov-
ered by the stainers. At such times they may easily be destroyed
by the use of hot water or kerosene.
Mr. P. L. Guppy has published an account (Cir. No. 6, Board of
Agriculture of Trinidad and Tlbago, Dec. 17, 1911) of experiments in
using baits formed of seed cotton for attracting the stainers. Small
balls of seed cotton were hung on the cotton plants. These balls
consisted of a large handful of seed cotton wrapped with twine. It
was found that large numbers of the stainers were attracted to these
balls. At intervals of several days the balls were carefully removed
from the plants and shaken over receptacles containing oil. It is
1'Recently Mr. 1'. L. ,;ii'py (Cir. No. 6, Board of Agriculture of Trinidad and Tobago, p. 131, Dec. 17,
1911) verified Dr. Morrill's finding as to the origin of the stain. Estates: Thl .lamac.. is done before the
bolls open by the insect piercing the walls in order to obtain the juices and Ili.' cl. .l p exudes through the
punctures thus made to the cotton lint which is being formed inside the boll." This statement refers to
Dysdercus howardi Ballou.

li I I ) IO)N +STAINIr.

very doubtful whetI her tis Imtd I will Ie f)u Il 4f pra tical ust in
the t'ni cil .c i ni ,'. but it s',ec is w' ,rth v i f trial.
W'e iii \I sumianaize tI I feasile means nI f cIntr ,iI in their rdIer of
importance aits follws:
1. 'I ll. \ cII li,'Il 1of tin I :le ., tll oif tIn, wle +ls ,l,] ,l w IhichI tIhe
cotton stainer breeds in ,.:II.l Inlnl ir.I
2,. 'TI ( Iiesti ,it iy In ean of ke osene aIl I water If tlie ( lto-
niC6 of Iii IP- bug aus soln Zs they n1ake, their a1plartrnmwe ,liii il_, the
' ,,i>g season.
3b. Tie attiii lill-- of tIhe insects to small ill, of o[ (tt it seed and
their destruction when ,i-i ',.,.,l,'+d in lat,. iunubersc by ikeaus of hot
water or kerosene.
Secretary *.f lIr';, ,ul 'tr .
W.\itin.kI ,-I I, D. (I'., Junmry I8, lII12.

III TI INAI. COPIES oF ll. i I.I1iev iom
21 i jy lie procured from the -'TRIT. TFI.-
&NT )i Pocti'iENT'. Govertmient I'rinilri:
OilIce, Wahingfun. D C., at cents per copy


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