Spring rapeseed and mustard crops: Employing chemical defenses against cruciferous pests


S.V. Stankev*

The cruciferous bug complex is composed of several species, including the painted or harlequin bug (Eurydema ventralis Kol), pentatomid rape bug (E. oleraracea L.), and mustard bug (E. ornata L.). These insects belong to the Hemiptera order, Shield bug family (Pentatomidae), and Cruciferous bug genus (Eurydema). Among them, the cabbage bug is the most prevalent species, although the mustard bug held dominance solely in 2007 and has been absent from records since 2012. These bugs are widely distributed throughout Ukraine, causing damage to crops in both their adult and larval stages. They employ their proboscis to puncture leaf surfaces and floriferous shoots, extracting plant juices. This feeding activity leads to the formation of light spots, tissue decay, and eventual loss of tissue, resulting in irregularly shaped holes. Additionally, the presence of these bugs adversely affects seed quality, as damaged seeds result in dropped flowers and ovaries, ultimately leading to reduced seed quality. Notably, the bugs' harm becomes significantly more pronounced during periods of dry and hot weather.

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