Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Invasive Pest of Soybeans

The bean plataspid (Megacopta cribraria Fabricius) is a new invasive pest from south Asia that is currently spreading throughout the southeastern United States (Fig. 1). This insect is a piercing sucking pest (similar feeding as stink bugs) on legumes and was first found on kudzu in Georgia during December 2009. It has since been confirmed on both soybeans and kudzu in both Georgia and South Carolina in 2010. The confirmed distribution is represented in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1. Bean plataspid adult. Image by P. Roberts, UGA.

Fig. 2. Current known distribution of the bean plataspid from December 2009 to 13 July 2010. Image created by D. Reisig, adapted from P. Roberts and J. Greene.
Research on insecticide management options is being conducted by Dr. Phillip Roberts, UGA, and his GA colleagues. UGA researchers and Dr. Jeremy Greene, Clemson U., are monitoring this pest and we need to be vigilant for the appearance of this pest in North Carolina. Many invasive insects are found in extremely high numbers upon initial establishment, which may aid in our detection of this pest (Fig. 3). Current numbers from GA in soybeans are reported as close to 10 insects per sweep near field borders, where the distribution of this pest is the highest.

Fig. 3. Size of bean plataspid demonstrated on vegetative soybeans. Image by J. Greene.
Please contact both Ken Ahlstrom, Cooperative Agriculture Pest Service coordinator with the NCDA (, (919) 733-6931 x236), and me, Dominic Reisig (, (252) 793-4428 x133) if you find this pest. Researchers in GA and Dr. Greene, in SC, are collecting GPS locations of where this insect is found to map distributions. If you could also provide this information, as well as the plant on which it was found, it will enhance our ability to respond to this new threat.
From: Dominic Reisig, Extension Entomologist

1 comment:

  1. These bugs are all over kudzu along urban railways in Atlanta...I keep mantids as pets, and notice insects more than most people...I wonder if they spread by hopping trains?