Biology of the Plant Bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae): Pests,Predators,Opportunists

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Plant bugs—Miridae, the largest family of the Heteroptera, or true bugs—are globally important pests of crops such as alfalfa, apple, cocoa, cotton, sorghum, and tea. Some also are predators of crop pests and have been used successfully in biological control. Certain omnivorous plant bugs have been considered both harmful pests and beneficial natural enemies of pests on the same crop, depending on environmental conditions or the perspective of an observer.As high-yielding varieties that lack pest resistance are planted, mirids are likely to become even more important crop pests. They also threaten crops as insecticide resistance in the family increases, and as the spread of transgenic crops alters their populations. Predatory mirids are increasingly used as biocontrol agents, especially of greenhouse pests such as thrips and whiteflies. Mirids provide abundant opportunities for research on food webs, intraguild predation, and competition.Recent worldwide activity in mirid systematics and biology testifies to increasing interest in plant bugs. The first thorough review and synthesis of biological studies of mirids in more than 60 years, Biology of the Plant Bugs will serve as the basic reference for anyone studying these insects as pests, beneficial IPM predators, or as models for ecological research.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wheeler presents a thorough treatment of the mirids and their relationship with their biological environments, particularly their ecology and evolution."—SciTech Book News, December 2001

"A big book about a big group of bugs. . . Includes a great deal of useful information such as what these species feed on and what sort of damage they produce. . . Highly recommended for biological sciences, entomology, insect control, ecology, agriculture, and related areas."—Choice, February 2002

"This book is a comprehensive and well-documented account of mirid bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae), and is a welcome addition to the entomological literature. . . There is much here to interest readers involved in crop protection. In addition, the extensive sections dealing with mirids as predators (and also that discussing the natural enemies of mirids) will be of particular value to entomologists and other workers associated with biological control and integrated pest management. On a wider front, the book will serve as an important source of reference for anyone seeking information on mirid biology."—D. V. Alford, Journal of Agricultural Science, 2002

"Biology of the Plant Bugs provides a major resource to the entomological community. Uniformity of style and care in presentation is evident throughout the text. . . The book will be of particular value to biology and entomology university and college departments as a valuable reference text about mirid insects. . . I recommend the book to students, researchers, teachers, and those who have a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world of insects."—S.O.Gaul, Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada, Vol. 34, No. 1, Mar. 2002

"Publication of this book is a great event not only in heteropterology, but also in entomology in general. It will be useful as example of a monograph on biology of a large group of insects, a source of important comparative information for entomologists working on other insect orders, and a stimulus for further research."—I.M. Kerzhner. Zoosystematica Rossica,Vol. 10

"This book is very well illustrated. . . . Many of the mirids discussed are not present in North America, so the book's scope is world wide. . . . This book will be an excellent reference for entomology libraries, and many entomologists who work with mirids will want their own copy."—W.J. Day, USDA-ARS. Entomological News, Vol. 113, No. 28, 2002

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801438271
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Cornell Series in Arthropod Biology
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Background
1 Introducing the Plant Bugs 1
2 Format and Scope and Review 6
3 Higher Classification and Principal Genera 11
4 Mirid Feeding Habits and Host Plants: Historical Sketch 13
Pt. II Perspectives
5 Family Characterization and Identification 17
6 Overview of Ecology and Behavior 35
7 Morphology, Physiology, and Behavior in Relation to Feeding 105
8 Mirids and Plant Diseases 136
Pt. III Phytophagy - Feeding on Plant Matter
9 Leaf and Stem Feeding 147
10 Exploitation of Inflorescences 187
11 Nectar and Pollen Feeding and Pollination 230
12 Fruit Feeding 243
13 Other Plant-Associated Foods and Artificial Diets 268
Pt. IV Zoophagy - Feeding on Animal Matter
14 Predation 275
15 Scavenging and Use of Other Animal-Associated Foods 317
Pt. V Conclusions
16 Ancestral Feeding Habits of the Heteroptera and Miridae 325
17 Feeding Trends among Mirid Higher Taxa 328
18 Future Research 334
App. 1 Valid Names, Authors (Authorities), and Subfamilies of Mirids Mentioned in the Text 339
App. 2 Equivalent Common and Scientific (Latin) Names of Mirid Species Mentioned in the Text 347
App. 3 Common Names of Plants Mentioned in the Text with Their Latin Name, Author or Authority, and Family 348
Glossary 357
References 373
Index to Scientific Names of Animals 487
Subject Index 501
About the Author 507
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