Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ward, Samuel F.

Committee Member

Catchot, Angus L.

Committee Member

Musser, Fred R.

Committee Member

Chakrabarti Basu, Pryadarshini

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Agricultural Life Sciences, Entomology

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a non-native pest of soybeans in the Americas outside of the Carribean. Mortality of overwintering adults due to cold exposure has been implicated as a major driver of interannual fluctuations in the occurrence of P. guildinii in the southeastern United States, but formal investigations of drivers, including factors other than cold temperatures, are rare. We conducted overwintering assays with field-collected P. guildinii to quantify survival and coupled historical occurrence with climatic data to develop a species distribution model. We found that leaf litter provides substantial insulation from lethal temperatures and thus increases the potential for overwintering survival of P. guildinii. Our species distribution model indicates that the northern extent of the insect’s range is limited by winter temperatures, but that can potentially expand the range hundreds of kilometers in a growing season.