Adult squash bugs, Anasa tristis (De Geer), were confined on seedling watermelon plants at densities of zero, one, two, and four per plant. Squash bugs were allowed to feed on the plants until plants died or reached 30 cm in height. Number of leaves and length of plant vine were recorded at 2- or 3-d intervals. Seedling foliage, stems, and roots were harvested and dried after plants reached 30 cm in height. Growth of seedlings was regressed on number of squash bugs and results indicated that an increasing density of squash bugs feeding on seedlings resulted in a significant reduction in plant growth. Additionally, increased density of squash bugs resulted in reduced weight of foliage and root dry biomass. Seedling mortality increased as the density of squash bugs increased.
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Vol. 95 • No. 3