Pg. 11-14 Hemiptera (Pentatomidae & Coreidae) occurring on Litchi chinensis sonn. in the Nelspruit region of the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa

The relative seasonal abundance of indigenous heteropterans occurring on Litchi chinensis Sonn. was studied in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Litchi appears to be a good host for these insects, as 669 individuals from 22 species were recovered during the study period, lasting approximately 15 months. The coconut bug Pseudotheraptus wayi Brown was not the dominant stink bug as was expected, but rather Coenomorpha nervosa Dallas and Pseudatelus raptorius (Germar) which represented nearly 80% of the individual insects that were recovered. Not only were these two species numerically dominant, they were also the only species that were able to breed in this crop. Additionally, both species were also abundant when fruit was available on the trees. None of the other heteropterans were able to breed in litchis as only adults were recovered. These insects also occurred in low numbers and were abundant during autumn and winter when no fruit were available on the trees. This implies possible competitive displacement of lesser important heteropterans by C. nervosa. Damage previously ascribed to P. wayi may actually be caused by C. nervosa and possibly P. raptorius. P. wayi overwintered on litchis and could be controlled on this crop during this time in order to reduce their impact in adjoining alternative subtropical fruit tree hosts.

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