Special Issue "Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrew G. S. Cuthbertson

Independent Advisor, York, UK
E-Mail
Phone: +44 (0) 1904 679830
Interests: biocontrol; integrated pest management; invasive species; pesticides
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Eric W. Riddick

National Biological Control Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
E-Mail
Interests: behavioral and chemical ecology of natural enemies; biological control; insect colonization; insect-amphibian interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invertebrate pest control within both agricultural and horticultural production systems continues to present many challenges. Increasing consumer concern over the use of chemical pesticides, coupled with increasing reports of chemical resistance, is continuing to pressurise the agricultural and horticultural industries to continue to seek alternative means of pest control. This special issue will include original research articles and reviews by leading research entomologists and associated experts. Articles will focus on the biology and ecology of various major agricultural and horticultural invertebrate pests (both indigenous and invasive species) and on the advances made in regards to their control using biological alternatives to chemicals.

Dr. Andrew G. S. Cuthbertson
Guest Editor

Dr. Eric W. Riddick
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biological control
  • integrated pest management
  • agriculture
  • horticulture
  • pesticides

Published Papers (18 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-18
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions
Insects 2017, 8(3), 67; doi:10.3390/insects8030067
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
PDF Full-text (1777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological
[...] Read more.
The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in Hawaii to validate a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) procedure for non-target impacts. We use data on known host range and habitat use in the place of origin of the parasitoids to determine whether contemporary levels of non-target parasitism could have been predicted using PRA. Our results show that reasonable predictions of potential non-target impacts may be made if comprehensive data are available from places of origin of biological control agents, but scant data produce poor predictions. Using apparent mortality data rather than marginal attack rate estimates in PRA resulted in over-estimates of predicted non-target impact. Incorporating ecological data into PRA models improved the predictive power of the risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Interactions among the Predatory Midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), the Fungal Pathogen Metarhizium brunneum (Ascomycota: Hypocreales), and Maize-Infesting Aphids in Greenhouse Mesocosms
Insects 2017, 8(2), 44; doi:10.3390/insects8020044
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1007 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The generalist entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum, has proved to have great potential as a versatile biological pest control agent. The gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a specialist predator that occurs naturally in Europe and has been successfully used for aphid suppression. However,
[...] Read more.
The generalist entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum, has proved to have great potential as a versatile biological pest control agent. The gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a specialist predator that occurs naturally in Europe and has been successfully used for aphid suppression. However, the interaction between these two biological control organisms and how it may affect the biological control of aphids awaits further investigation. As part of the EU-supported project INBIOSOIL, this study was conducted in greenhouse conditions to assess the possible effects of combining both biological control agents. In a randomized complete block design, sweet corn (Zea mays var. saccharata) plants were grown in large pots filled with natural soil or natural soil inoculated with M. brunneum. At the third leaf stage, before being individually caged, plants were infested with Rhopalosiphum padi and A. aphidimyza pupae were introduced in the soil. Aphidoletes aphidimyza midge emergence, number of living midges and number of aphids were recorded daily. The presence of conidia in the soil and on leaves was assessed during the experiment. At the conclusion of the experiment, the number of live aphids and their developmental stage, consumed aphids, and A. aphidimyza eggs was assessed under stereomicroscope. This study’s findings showed that the presence of M. brunneum did not affect A. aphidimyza midge emergence. However, longevity was significantly affected. As the study progressed, significantly fewer predatory midges were found in cages treated with M. brunneum compared to untreated cages. Furthermore, by the end of the study, the number of predatory midges found in the Metarhizium-treated cages was four times lower than in the untreated cages. Both daily and final count of aphids were significantly affected by treatment. Aphidoletes aphidimyza applied alone suppressed the aphid population more effectively than M. brunneum applied alone. Additionally, the aphid population was most suppressed when both agents were combined, though the suppression was less than additive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Trichogramma japonicum and T. chilonis as Potential Biological Control Agents of Yellow Stem Borer in Rice
Insects 2017, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/insects8010019
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two species of Trichogramma wasps were assessed for their effectiveness against yellow stem borer Scirpophaga incertulas. A laboratory cage test with T. japonicum and T. chilonis showed that both species parasitized yellow stem borer egg masses at 60.0% ± 9.13% and 40.7%
[...] Read more.
Two species of Trichogramma wasps were assessed for their effectiveness against yellow stem borer Scirpophaga incertulas. A laboratory cage test with T. japonicum and T. chilonis showed that both species parasitized yellow stem borer egg masses at 60.0% ± 9.13% and 40.7% ± 7.11%, respectively, with egg parasitism rates of 15.8% ± 22.2% for T. japonicum and 2.8% ± 5.0% for T. chilonis. Once the host eggs were parasitized, emergence rates were high for both species (95.7% ± 0.12% for T. japonicum and 100% for T. chilonis). In paddy field trials, the two Trichogramma species were released at three densities (50,000/ha, 100,000/ha and 200,000/ha) in Southwestern China. Egg mass parasitism was 9% ± 7.7% for T. japonicum and 15% ± 14.1% for T. chilonis, and again only a relatively small fraction of eggs was successfully parasitized. No clear conclusion could be drawn on the most efficient release rate as no significant differences were found among the three release rates. A comparison of field-collected T. japonicum with T. japonicum and T. chilonis mass reared on Corcyra cephalonica showed significantly larger body size and ovipositor length in field-collected wasps, suggesting potentially higher effectiveness on yellow stem borer eggs after at least one generation on the target host. Factors contributing to the low field parasitism rates are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control
Insects 2017, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/insects8010008
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the
[...] Read more.
Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Reduced Diversity in the Bacteriome of the Phytophagous Mite Brevipalpus yothersi (Acari: Tenuipalpidae)
Insects 2016, 7(4), 80; doi:10.3390/insects7040080
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tenuipalpidae comprises mites that transmit viruses to agriculturally important plants. Several tenuipalpid species present parthenogenesis, and in Brevipalpus yothersi, the endosymbiont Cardinium has been associated with female-only colonies. It is unclear what the bacterial composition of B. yothersi is, and how common
[...] Read more.
Tenuipalpidae comprises mites that transmit viruses to agriculturally important plants. Several tenuipalpid species present parthenogenesis, and in Brevipalpus yothersi, the endosymbiont Cardinium has been associated with female-only colonies. It is unclear what the bacterial composition of B. yothersi is, and how common Cardinium is in those microbiomes. We performed a comparative analysis of the bacteriomes in three populations of B. yothersi and three additional Tetranychoidea species using sequences from V4-fragment of 16S DNA. The bacteriomes were dominated by Bacteroidetes (especially Cardinium) and Proteobacteria, showing a remarkably low alpha diversity. Cardinium was present in about 22% of all sequences; however, it was not present in R. indica and T. evansi. In B. yothersi, the proportion of Cardinium was higher in adults than eggs, suggesting that proliferation of the bacteria could be the result of selective pressures from the host. This hypothesis was further supported because colonies of B. yothersi from different populations showed different bacterial assemblages, and bacteriomes from different mite species showed similar abundances of Cardinium. A phylogenetic analysis of Cardinium revealed that not only specialization but horizontal transmission has been important for this symbiosis. Together, these results represent a glimpse into the evolution of the Tetranychoidea and Cardinium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Biological Control Outcomes Using the Generalist Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza under Multi-Prey Conditions
Insects 2016, 7(4), 75; doi:10.3390/insects7040075
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
PDF Full-text (2036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Interactions between the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis and the Parasitoid Dinocampus coccinellae
Insects 2016, 7(4), 67; doi:10.3390/insects7040067
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) has been introduced either intentionally or accidentally in different areas outside its native range, where it is often regarded as invasive. Dinocampus coccinellae (Schrank) has been recorded to parasitize H. axyridis in the field, both in the native and introduced
[...] Read more.
Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) has been introduced either intentionally or accidentally in different areas outside its native range, where it is often regarded as invasive. Dinocampus coccinellae (Schrank) has been recorded to parasitize H. axyridis in the field, both in the native and introduced areas, Italy included. The percent of parasitism found in our field investigation was low (four percent). The effect of exposure time of H. axyridis to D. coccinellae and the impact of parasitization on host longevity, oviposition capacity and egg fertility were evaluated in the laboratory. The acceptance and suitability of H. axyridis as host for D. coccinellae were then studied, in comparison with the native coccinellid Adalia bipunctata (L.), which shares the same ecological niche. The effects of parasitization on female longevity and reproduction capacity in the exotic vs. the indigenous lady beetle were also investigated. The overall results showed that D. coccinellae negatively affected the fitness of H. axyridis, more than that of A. bipunctata. The parasitoid may thus play a marginal role in controlling the populations of the Asian lady beetle, without representing a threat to A. bipunctata. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Efficacy of Topical Application, Leaf Residue or Soil Drench of Blastospores of Isaria fumosorosea for Citrus Root Weevil Management: Laboratory and Greenhouse Investigations
Insects 2016, 7(4), 66; doi:10.3390/insects7040066
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
PDF Full-text (4096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The efficacy of topical, leaf residue, and soil drench applications with Isaria fumosorosea blastospores (Ifr strain 3581) was assessed for the management of the citrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.). Blastospores of Ifr were applied topically at a rate of 107
[...] Read more.
The efficacy of topical, leaf residue, and soil drench applications with Isaria fumosorosea blastospores (Ifr strain 3581) was assessed for the management of the citrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.). Blastospores of Ifr were applied topically at a rate of 107 blastospores mL−1 on both the larvae and adults, and each insect stage was incubated in rearing cups with artificial diet at 25 °C, either in the dark or in a growth chamber under a 16 h photophase for 2 weeks, respectively. Percent larval and adult mortality due to the infection of Ifr was assessed after 14 days as compared to untreated controls. Leaf residue assays were assessed by feeding the adults detached citrus leaves previously sprayed with Ifr (107 blastospores mL−1) in Petri dish chambers and then incubating them at 25 °C for 2–3 weeks. Efficacy of the soil drench applications was assessed on five larvae feeding on the roots of a Carrizo hybrid citrus seedling ~8.5–10.5 cm below the sterile sand surface in a single 16 cm × 15.5 cm pot inside a second pot lined with plastic mesh to prevent escapees. Drench treatments per pot consisted of 100 mL of Ifr suspension (107 blastospores mL−1), flushed with 400, 900, or 1400 mL of water compared to 500, 1000, and 1500 mL of water only for controls. The mean concentration of Ifr propagules as colony forming units per gram (CFUs g−1) that leached to different depths in the sand profile per treatment drench rate was also determined. Two weeks post-drenching of Ifr treatments, larvae were assessed for percent mortality, size differences, and effect of treatments in reducing feeding damage to the plant root biomass compared to the controls. Topical spray applications caused 13 and 19% mortality in larvae and adults after 7 days compared to none in the control after 14 days, respectively. Adults feeding on a single Ifr treated leaf for 24 h consumed less than the control, and resulted in 100% mortality 35 days post-treatment compared to 33% in the untreated control. Although offered fresh, untreated leaves after 24 h, only adults in the control group consumed them. Ifr CFUs g−1 were isolated 8.5–10.5 cm below the sand surface for the 1000 and 1500 mL drench rates only, resulting in 2%–4% larval mortality. For all the Ifr drench treatments, no differences were observed in percent larval mortality and size or the effect of treatments in reducing feeding damage to the plant root biomass compared to the controls. These results suggest that the foliar application of Ifr may be an efficient biocontrol strategy for managing adult populations of D. abbreviatus; potential alternative larval management strategies are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Prey-Mediated Effects of Drought on the Consumption Rates of Coccinellid Predators of Elatobium abietinum
Insects 2016, 7(4), 49; doi:10.3390/insects7040049
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change in the UK is predicted to cause an increase in summer drought events. Elatobium abietinum is an important pest of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), causing defoliation of trees, and is predicted to become more abundant in response to climatic
[...] Read more.
Climate change in the UK is predicted to cause an increase in summer drought events. Elatobium abietinum is an important pest of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), causing defoliation of trees, and is predicted to become more abundant in response to climatic change, reducing spruce productivity. Populations are also moderated by invertebrate predators, though the extent to which this might be modified under a changing climate is unclear. Elatobium abietinum is preyed upon by the coccinellid species Aphidecta obliterata (a spruce specialist) and Adalia bipunctata (a generalist), populations of which naturally occur in spruce plantations. This study sought to investigate the effect of different intensities and frequencies of drought on the consumption rate of the aphids by the two coccinellids. In Petri dish trials, severe drought stress increased the consumption rates of 3rd instar aphids by both adult and larval coccinellids. Moderate intermittent stress tended to result in a reduced consumption rate for larval coccinellids only, suggesting an age-dependent response. The findings of this study suggest that, under drought conditions, a prey-mediated effect on predator consumption, and, therefore, biocontrol efficacy, is likely, with drought intensity and frequency playing an important role in determining the nature of the response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How to Start with a Clean Crop: Biopesticide Dips Reduce Populations of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on Greenhouse Poinsettia Propagative Cuttings
Insects 2016, 7(4), 48; doi:10.3390/insects7040048
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1651 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
(1) Global movement of propagative plant material is a major pathway for introduction of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) into poinsettia greenhouses. Starting a poinsettia crop with high pest numbers disrupts otherwise successful biological control programs and widespread resistance of B. tabaci against pesticides
[...] Read more.
(1) Global movement of propagative plant material is a major pathway for introduction of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) into poinsettia greenhouses. Starting a poinsettia crop with high pest numbers disrupts otherwise successful biological control programs and widespread resistance of B. tabaci against pesticides is limiting growers’ options to control this pest; (2) This study investigated the use of several biopesticides (mineral oil, insecticidal soap, Beauveria bassiana, Isaria fumosorosea, Steinernema feltiae) and combinations of these products as immersion treatments (cutting dips) to control B. tabaci on poinsettia cuttings. In addition, phytotoxicity risks of these treatments on poinsettia cuttings, and effects of treatment residues on mortality of commercial whitefly parasitoids (Eretmocerus eremicus and Encarsia formosa) were determined; (3) Mineral oil (0.1% v/v) and insecticidal soap (0.5%) + B. bassiana (1.25 g/L) were the most effective treatments; only 31% and 29%, respectively, of the treated B. tabaci survived on infested poinsettia cuttings and B. tabaci populations were lowest in these treatments after eight weeks. Phytotoxicity risks of these treatments were acceptable, and dip residues had little effect on survival of either parasitoid, and are considered highly compatible; (4) Use of poinsettia cutting dips will allow growers to knock-down B. tabaci populations to a point where they can be managed successfully thereafter with existing biocontrol strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Functional Responses of Three Neotropical Mirid Predators to Eggs of Tuta absoluta on Tomato
Insects 2016, 7(3), 34; doi:10.3390/insects7030034
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) has quickly developed into a significant tomato pest worldwide. While the recently found mirid predators Macrolophus basicornis (Stal), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho) of this pest are able to establish and reproduce on tomato, biological knowledge of these
[...] Read more.
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) has quickly developed into a significant tomato pest worldwide. While the recently found mirid predators Macrolophus basicornis (Stal), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho) of this pest are able to establish and reproduce on tomato, biological knowledge of these mirids is still limited. Here we describe the functional response of the three mirid predators of the tomato pest T. absoluta when offered a range of prey densities (four, eight, 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 eggs) during a 24 h period inside cylindrical plastic cages in the laboratory. Engytatus varians and M. basicornis showed a type III functional response, whereas C. infumatus showed a type II functional response. At the highest prey densities, C. infumatus consumed an average of 51.0 eggs, E. varians 91.1 eggs, and M. basicornis 100.8 eggs. Taking all information into account that we have collected of these three Neotropical mirid species, we predict that M. basicornis might be the best candidate for control of the tomato borer in Brazil: it has the highest fecundity, the largest maximum predation capacity, and it reacts in a density-dependent way to the widest prey range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Estimation of Median Lethal Concentration of Three Isolates of Beauveria bassiana for Control of Megacopta cribraria (Heteroptera: Plataspidae) Bioassayed on Solid Lygus spp. Diet
Insects 2016, 7(3), 31; doi:10.3390/insects7030031
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.), is an urban nuisance and significant agricultural pest. The median lethal concentrations of three strains of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo), including the Mississippi Delta native strain (NI8) isolated from Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), the commercial strain BotaniGard
[...] Read more.
The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.), is an urban nuisance and significant agricultural pest. The median lethal concentrations of three strains of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo), including the Mississippi Delta native strain (NI8) isolated from Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), the commercial strain BotaniGard® (GHA) (Victor, NY, USA), and the B. bassiana strain isolated from M. cribraria (KUDSC), were estimated on kudzu bug adults. A technique developed to evaluate B. bassiana against L. lineolaris was used. Younger adults (eight days after collection) were treated with NI8 and GHA and older adult (50 days after collection) were treated with NI8, GHA and KUDSC. Higher concentrations (n × 106, n × 107) of NI8 and GHA caused kudzu bug mortality two days after treatment in younger adults and similar concentrations of NI8, GHA, and KUDSC caused mortality one day after treatment in older adults. Lower concentrations (n × 104, n × 105) were not significantly different in mortality between strains. LS50 values of the KUDSC were significantly lower than NI8 and GHA values in older adults. This is the first available information on median lethal concentration of B. bassiana on kudzu bug adults bioassayed on artificial diet. It was determined that B. bassiana (KUDSC and NI8) are highly effective for young adults at very low doses (LC50 1.98–4.98 viable spores per mm2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Beneficial Insect Attraction to Milkweeds (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in Washington State, USA
Insects 2016, 7(3), 30; doi:10.3390/insects7030030
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
PDF Full-text (2124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Native plant and beneficial insect associations are relatively unstudied yet are important in native habitat restoration programs for improving and sustaining conservation biological control of arthropod pests in agricultural crops. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are currently the focus of restoration programs in the
[...] Read more.
Native plant and beneficial insect associations are relatively unstudied yet are important in native habitat restoration programs for improving and sustaining conservation biological control of arthropod pests in agricultural crops. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are currently the focus of restoration programs in the USA aimed at reversing a decline in populations of the milkweed-dependent monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus); however, little is known of the benefits of these plants to other beneficial insects. Beneficial insects (predators, parasitoids, pollinators) attracted to two milkweed species (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in central Washington State, WA, USA were identified and counted on transparent sticky traps attached to blooms over five seasons. Combining all categories of beneficial insects, means of 128 and 126 insects per trap were recorded for A. speciosa and A. fascicularis, respectively. Predatory and parasitic flies dominated trap catches for A. speciosa while parasitic wasps were the most commonly trapped beneficial insects on A. fascicularis. Bees were trapped commonly on both species, especially A. speciosa with native bees trapped in significantly greater numbers than honey bees. Beneficial insect attraction to A. speciosa and A. fascicularis was substantial. Therefore, these plants are ideal candidates for habitat restoration, intended to enhance conservation biological control, and for pollinator conservation. In central Washington, milkweed restoration programs for enhancement of D. plexippus populations should also provide benefits for pest suppression and pollinator conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Elucidating the Common Generalist Predators of Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in an Organic Apple Orchard Using Molecular Gut-Content Analysis
Insects 2016, 7(3), 29; doi:10.3390/insects7030029
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), plum curculio, is a serious direct pest of North American tree fruit including, apples, cherries, peaches and plums. Historically, organophosphate insecticides were used for control, but this tool is no longer registered for use in tree fruit. In
[...] Read more.
Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), plum curculio, is a serious direct pest of North American tree fruit including, apples, cherries, peaches and plums. Historically, organophosphate insecticides were used for control, but this tool is no longer registered for use in tree fruit. In addition, few organically approved insecticides are available for organic pest control and none have proven efficacy as this time. Therefore, promoting biological control in these systems is the next step, however, little is known about the biological control pathways in this system and how these are influenced by current mechanical and cultural practices required in organic systems. We used molecular gut-content analysis for testing field caught predators for feeding on plum curculio. During the study we monitored populations of plum curculio and the predator community in a production organic apple orchard. Predator populations varied over the season and contained a diverse assemblage of spiders and beetles. A total of 8% of all predators (eight Araneae, two Hemiptera, and six Coleoptera species) assayed for plum curculio predation were observed positive for the presence of plum curculio DNA in their guts, indicating that these species fed on plum curculio prior to collection Results indicate a number of biological control agents exist for this pest and this requires further study in relation to cultural practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Further Screening of Entomopathogenic Fungi and Nematodes as Control Agents for Drosophila suzukii
Insects 2016, 7(2), 24; doi:10.3390/insects7020024
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drosophila suzukii populations remain low in the UK. To date, there have been no reports of widespread damage. Previous research demonstrated that various species of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes could potentially suppress D. suzukii population development under laboratory trials. However, none of the
[...] Read more.
Drosophila suzukii populations remain low in the UK. To date, there have been no reports of widespread damage. Previous research demonstrated that various species of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes could potentially suppress D. suzukii population development under laboratory trials. However, none of the given species was concluded to be specifically efficient in suppressing D. suzukii. Therefore, there is a need to screen further species to determine their efficacy. The following entomopathogenic agents were evaluated for their potential to act as control agents for D. suzukii: Metarhizium anisopliae; Isaria fumosorosea; a non-commercial coded fungal product (Coded B); Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, S. kraussei and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. The fungi were screened for efficacy against the fly on fruit while the nematodes were evaluated for the potential to be applied as soil drenches targeting larvae and pupal life-stages. All three fungi species screened reduced D. suzukii populations developing from infested berries. Isaria fumosorosea significantly (p < 0.001) reduced population development of D. suzukii from infested berries. All nematodes significantly reduced adult emergence from pupal cases compared to the water control. Larvae proved more susceptible to nematode infection. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora proved the best from the four nematodes investigated; readily emerging from punctured larvae and causing 95% mortality. The potential of the entomopathogens to suppress D. suzukii populations is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Identification of Conditions for Successful Aphid Control by Ladybirds in Greenhouses
Insects 2017, 8(2), 38; doi:10.3390/insects8020038
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release
[...] Read more.
As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release rates usually did not correlate with aphid reduction. The ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was slightly less for larvae than adults in some studies, suggesting that larvae were less effective (than adults) in suppressing aphids. Some adult releases were inside cages, thereby limiting adult dispersion from plants. Overall, the ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was greatest for ladybird adults of the normal strain (several species combined), but least for adults of a flightless Harmonia axyridis strain. The combined action of ladybirds and hymenopteran parasitoids could have a net positive effect on aphid population suppression and, consequently, on host (crop) plants. However, ladybird encounters with aphid-tending or foraging ants must be reduced. Deploying ladybirds to help manage aphids in greenhouses and similar protective structures is encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Biological Control beneath the Feet: A Review of Crop Protection against Insect Root Herbivores
Insects 2016, 7(4), 70; doi:10.3390/insects7040070
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable agriculture is certainly one of the most important challenges at present, considering both human population demography and evidence showing that crop productivity based on chemical control is plateauing. While the environmental and health threats of conventional agriculture are increasing, ecological research is
[...] Read more.
Sustainable agriculture is certainly one of the most important challenges at present, considering both human population demography and evidence showing that crop productivity based on chemical control is plateauing. While the environmental and health threats of conventional agriculture are increasing, ecological research is offering promising solutions for crop protection against herbivore pests. While most research has focused on aboveground systems, several major crop pests are uniquely feeding on roots. We here aim at documenting the current and potential use of several biological control agents, including micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes) and invertebrates included among the macrofauna of soils (arthropods and annelids) that are used against root herbivores. In addition, we discuss the synergistic action of different bio-control agents when co-inoculated in soil and how the induction and priming of plant chemical defense could be synergized with the use of the bio-control agents described above to optimize root pest control. Finally, we highlight the gaps in the research for optimizing a more sustainable management of root pests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Biological Control of Mosquito Vectors: Past, Present, and Future
Insects 2016, 7(4), 52; doi:10.3390/insects7040052
Received: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 3 October 2016
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (4631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mosquitoes represent the major arthropod vectors of human disease worldwide transmitting malaria, lymphatic filariasis, and arboviruses such as dengue virus and Zika virus. Unfortunately, no treatment (in the form of vaccines or drugs) is available for most of these diseases and vector control
[...] Read more.
Mosquitoes represent the major arthropod vectors of human disease worldwide transmitting malaria, lymphatic filariasis, and arboviruses such as dengue virus and Zika virus. Unfortunately, no treatment (in the form of vaccines or drugs) is available for most of these diseases and vector control is still the main form of prevention. The limitations of traditional insecticide-based strategies, particularly the development of insecticide resistance, have resulted in significant efforts to develop alternative eco-friendly methods. Biocontrol strategies aim to be sustainable and target a range of different mosquito species to reduce the current reliance on insecticide-based mosquito control. In this review, we outline non-insecticide based strategies that have been implemented or are currently being tested. We also highlight the use of mosquito behavioural knowledge that can be exploited for control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top