Hemipterans Associated with Wetland Plant Communities (Heteroptera; Auchenorryncha)
Shields, Heather A.
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Missouri wetlands are imperiled due to destruction or degradation, only 1.4% of the original wetlands remain. One of the few undisturbed, protected wetlands remaining is the Oumessourit marsh at Van Meter State Park, Saline County, Missouri. Due to their dependent relationship on their host plants, phytophagous hemipteran insects are used as indicators of habitat health. During June, July, and September 2015, plants and insects were surveyed from a total of 108 1m2 plots along three trasects in the marsh. Herbaecous and woody plants, plant community composition, and percent cover were recorded. Auchenorryncha and Heteropteran species were separated from other collected insects and identified, sexed, and abundance recorded. Forty-one plant species and 47 insect species (Auchennoryncha and Hepteroptera) were recorded. The wetland-obligate sedge Carex hyalinolepsis Steud. (Cyperaceae) was the most abundant plant, averaging 63% cover in each sample plot. It is likely the host plant of Megamelus bifidus Beamer (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), the most abundant insect collected.