Factors contributing to the economic impact of cotton fleahoppers, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus

Final Report for GS12-109

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2012: $9,336.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Grant Recipient: Auburn University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Micky Eubanks
Auburn University
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Project Information



Several agricultural trials have documented the propensity for cotton to overcompensate for fleahopper herbivory (Sansone 2009, Chen et al. 2007 Parker and Buehring 2006, Ring et all 1994). The strongest evidence of overcompensation, however, comes from a field cage study (Ring et al. 1993). Here, we invested how the timing of herbivory influences cotton’s overcompensatory response. In a 2011 open-plot field study we found evidence for overcompensation following fleahopper herbivory in the second week of squaring. In this study we used large field cages to replicate the experiment.

Project Objectives:

Our objective was to investigate how the timing of cotton fleahopper herbivory during cotton squaring influences cotton’s overcompensatory response.


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  • Micky Eubanks


Materials and methods:

This experiment was a 4×2 factorial design with timing of herbivory (1st-4th week of squaring) and fleahopper present or absent as factors.
Twenty 6 feet by 6 feet field cages were erected at the Texas A&M Field laboratory in Burleson Co. Tx. Each cage served as a block and contained 8 transplanted cotton plants assigned to one of the treatment combinations. One adult fleahopper was caged to terminal of the of the cotton plant for 48hours and then removed. Control plants were also treated with empty cages. Sqaureman and Bollman data was collected throughout the summer to track cotton growth following herbivory. Lint was hand-harvested in October.

Research results and discussion:

Lint was harvested in October and is currently being processed to determine if overcompensation occurred (updated October 24th 2013).

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary

Education/outreach description:

Previous findings in the open-plot study were reported in 2012 Cotton Beltwide Proceedings.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

Understanding how and when cotton may overcompensate for fleahopper herbivory will aide IPM practitioners to re-evaluate economic threshold levels and maintain maximum yields.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.