Current Distribution and Population Persistence of Five Lepidopteran Pests in U.S. Soybean

Anders S. Huseth, Robert L. Koch, Dominic Reisig, Jeffrey A. Davis, Silvana V. Paula-Moraes, Erin W. Hodgson

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8 Scopus citations


The distribution of lepidopteran pests in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is a current knowledge gap limiting accurate prioritization of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research. Regional characterizations of lepidopteran distribution in soybean are now more than 25 yr old. The goal of this study was to generate a contemporary assessment of the distribution and population persistence of lepidopteran soybean pests. To understand which species are currently infesting soybean and their persistence, we conducted a survey of soybean entomologists with responsibility for approximately 33.6 million hectares of production in 31 U.S. states. Soybean entomologists were asked questions about presence of lepidopteran pests and their persistence in their state. We focused this survey on five lepidopteran pests: corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), green cloverworm (Hypena scabra Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), painted lady (Vanessa cardui L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), soybean looper (Chrysodeixis includens Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae). Soybean entomologists also provided insight into regionally relevant or sporadic lepidopteran soybean pests. Participants were also questioned about common scouting practices in each state. Results of this survey highlight dissimilar geographic distribution and relative persistence of lepidopteran pests in soybean. Clear differences in occurrence and abundance among species provide important contemporary distributions and persistence estimates. Assessments of scouting practices demonstrate a need to improve IPM adoption in some states. Results of this study and its complementary pest profile (concurrently published in JIPM) provide a contemporary foundation for studies of lepidopteran soybean pests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalJournal of Integrated Pest Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).


  • field crop
  • Glycine max
  • Lepidoptera
  • pest management
  • scouting


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