Shallot aphids, Myzus ascalonicus, in strawberry: biocontrol potential of three predators and three parasitoids

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The parasitization capacity of 3 parasitoids and the predation capacity of 3 predators towards the shallot aphid, Myzus ascalonicus Doncaster (Homoptera: Aphididae), on strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne (Rosales: Rosaceae) cv. Honeoye, were examined in laboratory experiments. In Petri dish assays, both Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) and A. ervi Hal-iday readily stung shallot aphids, with no significant difference in stinging frequency between the two species. A. ervi induced a significantly higher mortality (79.0 ± 7.2%) in terms of stung aphids compared with A. colemani (55.3 ± 4.1%); however, only a minor fraction (2.7 ± 1.8% and 7.1 ± 3.1%, respectively) of the killed aphids resulted in formation of mummies, presumably due to a physiological response to parasitism. The low percentage of mummification precludes the use of either Aphidius species in anything but inundative biocontrol. In similar set-ups, Ap-helinus abdominalis (Dalman) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) killed almost half (49.6 ± 5.3%) of the exposed aphids through host feeding. In addition, 23.2 ± 7.3% of non-host-fed aphids developed into mummified aphids, and 38.1 ± 13.2% of non-host-fed aphids died from other parasitoid-induced causes. However, the host feeding rate was reduced to only 1.2 ± 0.8%, and no significant parasitization mortality was observed on strawberry plants, suggesting that host plants interfered with A. abdominalis activity. This parasitoid does not, therefore, seem to be suited to either inoculative or inundative biocontrol of shallot aphids in strawberry. The three predators studied were the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea Steph. (Neuroptera: Chrysopi-dae), the two-spotted lady beetle, Adalia bipunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and the gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Third instars of all 3 predators readily preyed upon the shallot aphid in Petri dish set-ups with significant differences in daily predation (34.62 ± 3.45, 25.25 ± 3.18, and 13.34 ± 1.45, respectively). Further studies on A bipunctata revealed that the larvae maintained their daily predation capacity (32.0 ± 6.3) on strawberry plants. About 60% of already ovipositing A. bipunctata refrained from laying any eggs on the first day after transfer to set-ups with combinations of shallot or peach-potato aphids, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Homoptera: Aphididae), and strawberry or sweet pepper leaves. The aphid species and the plant species did not, however, have a significant influence on the number of females laying eggs, the average number of eggs laid during the first day being 6.37±1.28 per female. Adult lady beetles had a significant preference for odor from controls without plants over odors from uninfested strawberry or pepper plants, but they showed no preference for either of the plant species, whether infested with aphids or not. The predation capacity of A. bipunctata on shallot aphids holds promise for its use in inundative biocontrol, and the results on egg laying cues suggests that inoculative biocontrol may be possible, although further studies will be needed for a complete evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Issue number83
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • Adalia bipunctata, Aphelinus abdominalis, Aphidius colemani, Aphidius ervi, Aphidoletes aphidimyza, Chrysoperla carnea, biological control

ID: 95863510