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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), an ericaceous shrub with needlelike leaves, is characteristic of Florida scrubs and certain other xeric plant communities of well-drained sands. The plant is dioecious, its inconspicuous male and female flowers borne on separate individuals. From 2003 to 2012 (mainly 2007–2012), rosemary was sampled periodically (with all months included at least once during the period) in sand ridges of peninsular Florida and two riverine dunes in southeastern Georgia. Branches of male and female plants were tapped separately into a beating net. Sampling during the final three years was female-plant-biased to facilitate work on fruit- and seed-feeding heteropterans. Nymphs and adults of three pentatomoid species were found on C. ericoides: the pentatomid Thyanta custator custator (F.) and scutellerids Diolcus chrysorrhoeus (F.) and Homaemus proteus Stål. Only T. c. custator was taken in both states, occurring at 19 sites (19 nymphs, 53 adults); D. chrysorrhoeus was found in Florida at 16 sites (9 nymphs, 165 adults). The collection of T. c. custator and D. chrysorrhoeus from female rosemary plants essentially throughout the sampling period, including nymphs, exuviae, and mating pairs, coupled with their near absence from male plants, suggests that the bugs are not incidental on rosemary but feed on its fruits. Whether either species completes its life cycle on rosemary is unknown. Three nymphs and eight adults of the little-known H. proteus were collected from female rosemary plants at four sites, but the scutellerid’s relationship to C. ericoides remains to be determined. Briefly noted is the collection of the pentatomid Euschistus obscurus (Palisot de Beauvois) and scutellerid Stethaulax marmoratus (Say), whose adults were collected infrequently on female rosemary plants in Florida.

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