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Insects 2016, 7(4), 75; doi:10.3390/insects7040075

Biological Control Outcomes Using the Generalist Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza under Multi-Prey Conditions

1
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0, Canada
2
Robert W. Holly Center for Agriculture and Health, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agassiz, BC V0M 1A0, Canada
4
Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew G. S. Cuthbertson and Eric W. Riddick
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
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Abstract

The aphidophagous midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is used in biological control programs against aphids in many crops. Short-term trials with this natural enemy demonstrated that that females prefer to oviposit among aphids colonizing the new growth of plants, leading to differential attack rates for aphid species that differ in their within-plant distributions. Thus, we hypothesized that biological control efficacy could be compromised when more than one aphid species is present. We further hypothesized that control outcomes may be different at different crop stages if aphid species shift their preferred feeding locations. Here, we used greenhouse trials to determine biological control outcomes using A. aphidimyza under multi-prey conditions and at different crop stages. At all plant stages, aphid species had a significant effect on the number of predator eggs laid. More eggs were found on M. persicae versus A. solani-infested plants, since M. persicae consistently colonized plant meristems across plant growth stages. This translated to higher numbers of predatory larvae on M. periscae-infested plants in two out of our three experiments, and more consistent control of this pest (78%–95% control across all stages of plant growth). In contrast, control of A. solani was inconsistent in the presence of M. persicae, with 36%–80% control achieved. An additional experiment demonstrated control of A. solani by A. aphidimyza was significantly greater in the absence of M. persicae than in its presence. Our study illustrates that suitability of a natural enemy for pest control may change over a crop cycle as the position of prey on the plant changes, and that prey preference based on within-plant prey location can negatively influence biological control programs in systems with pest complexes. Careful monitoring of the less-preferred pest and its relative position on the plant is suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aulacorthum solani; Myzus persicae; biological control in greenhouses; predator prey interactions; plant strata; prey preference Aulacorthum solani; Myzus persicae; biological control in greenhouses; predator prey interactions; plant strata; prey preference
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jandricic, S.E.; Wraight, S.P.; Gillespie, D.R.; Sanderson, J.P. Biological Control Outcomes Using the Generalist Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza under Multi-Prey Conditions. Insects 2016, 7, 75.

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