Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mirids on pecan flowers

    Most pecan growers like to look for pistillate flower clusters during the pollination season.  A flower cluster on most every terminal (like this year) is a sure sign of a good nut crop in the Fall. However, when looking for pistillate flowers, you might spot one of the common plant bugs that feed on pistillate flowers (photo above) or on catkins.
    Here's a closeup of the insect (photo at right).  Plagiognathus albatus is a plant feeding mirid (family Miridae) that I see every year during pollination season feeding on pecan flowers (both male and female). This insect does not cause economic damage to the nut crop and disappears from trees at the conclusion of pollination season. We have plenty of insects to worry about controlling in a pecan grove. This mirid is not one of them.