Natural Enemies and Biological Control of Plant Pests (Closed)

A topical collection in Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This collection belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

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Collection Editor
National Biological Control Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
Interests: predators; parasitoids; natural products; chemical ecology; terrestrial; aquatic; conservation; sustainable
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural enemies have an extensive history of being used in applied biological control of plant pests throughout the world. Natural enemies, including predatory insects and mites, parasitic wasps and flies, and pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses, have been used to manage pests on crop plants with some measure of success. Challenges to wider adoption of biological control using natural enemies as a more sustainable, environmental-friendly form of pest suppression persist, despite the many years that these beneficial organisms have been utilized. The aim of this Topical Collection is to highlight recent research dealing with any subject related to biology of natural enemies or applied biological control using natural enemies. Original research articles, review articles, comments to the editor, and short communications are all welcome.

Dr. Eric W. Riddick
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • predators
  • parasitoids
  • pathogens
  • conservation
  • augmentation
  • mass production

Published Papers (18 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021, 2020

3 pages, 198 KiB  
Editorial
Topical Collection: Natural Enemies and Biological Control of Plant Pests
by Eric Wellington Riddick
Insects 2022, 13(5), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050421 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Natural enemies have an extensive history as biological control agents against crop pests worldwide [...] Full article
12 pages, 947 KiB  
Article
Trichogramma ostriniae Is More Effective Than Trichogramma dendrolimi As a Biocontrol Agent of the Asian Corn Borer, Ostrinia furnacalis
by Yu Wang, Yang-Yang Hou, Giovanni Benelli, Nicolas Desneux, Asad Ali and Lian-Sheng Zang
Insects 2022, 13(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13010070 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
The Asian corn borer (ACB), Ostrinia furnicalis, is a serious corn pest in south-east Asia, causing huge economic losses every year. Trichogramma dendrolimi and Trichogramma ostriniae, two egg parasitoids, have previously been identified as key biological control agents. To determine the [...] Read more.
The Asian corn borer (ACB), Ostrinia furnicalis, is a serious corn pest in south-east Asia, causing huge economic losses every year. Trichogramma dendrolimi and Trichogramma ostriniae, two egg parasitoids, have previously been identified as key biological control agents. To determine the age impact of ACB eggs on their effective biocontrol potential, herein we compared the biological parameters (i.e., number of parasitized eggs, emergence, developmental time, and sex ratio) of both parasitoids on ACB eggs of various ages (i.e., 0–4, 4–8, 8–12, 12–16, 16–24, 24–36, and 36–48 h old), respectively. Our results showed that the age of ACB eggs had a significant impact on the parasitization activity of T. dendrolimi in both choice and no-choice conditions. Trichogramma dendrolimi preferred to parasitize 0–8-h-old ACB eggs, and its parasitization dramatically declined on ACB eggs older than 8 h under choice and no-choice conditions. On the other hand, T. ostriniae showed high preference to parasitize all tested ACB egg ages. The age of ACB eggs had no significant impact on the parasitization of T. ostriniae under choice and no-choice conditions. Furthermore, the female progeny of T. dendrolimi decreased as the age of ACB increased, while no differences were found in female progeny of T. ostriniae. Trichogramma ostriniae also developed faster on each ACB egg age group in comparison with T. dendrolimi. Overall, the age of ACB eggs had a significant impact on T. dendrolimi performance, leading us to conclude that T. ostriniae is more effective than T. dendrolimi as a biocontrol agent of the ACB. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022, 2020

18 pages, 6229 KiB  
Article
The Fungus Metarhizium sp. BCC 4849 Is an Effective and Safe Mycoinsecticide for the Management of Spider Mites and Other Insect Pests
by Rudsamee Wasuwan, Natnapha Phosrithong, Boonhiang Promdonkoy, Duangjai Sangsrakru, Chutima Sonthirod, Sithichoke Tangphatsornruang, Somsak Likhitrattanapisal, Supawadee Ingsriswang, Chettida Srisuksam, Kewarin Klamchao, Malinee Suksangpanomrung, Thipmanee Hleepongpanich, Sareeya Reungpatthanaphong, Morakot Tanticharoen and Alongkorn Amnuaykanjanasin
Insects 2022, 13(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13010042 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3585
Abstract
Five isolates of Metarhizium sp. were evaluated for their pathogenicity against the spider mite (Tetranychus truncatus Ehara) (Acari: Tetranychidae) and Metarhizium sp. BCC 4849 resulted in the highest mortality (82%) on the 5th day post-inoculation (DPI). Subsequent insect bioassay data indicated similar [...] Read more.
Five isolates of Metarhizium sp. were evaluated for their pathogenicity against the spider mite (Tetranychus truncatus Ehara) (Acari: Tetranychidae) and Metarhizium sp. BCC 4849 resulted in the highest mortality (82%) on the 5th day post-inoculation (DPI). Subsequent insect bioassay data indicated similar high virulence against five other insects: African red mites (Eutetranychus africanus Tucker) (Acari: Tetranychidae), bean aphid (Aphis craccivora Koch) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti Matile-Ferrero) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), sweet potato weevil (Cylas formicarius Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Brentidae), and oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), at mortalities of 92–99%, on 3rd–6th DPI, and in laboratory conditions. The pathogenicity assay against E. africanus in hemp plants under greenhouse conditions indicated 85–100% insect mortality on 10th DPI using the fungus alone or in combination with synthetic acaricide. Genome sequencing of Metarhizium sp. BCC 4849 revealed the high abundance of proteins associated with zinc-, heme-, and iron-binding; oxidation-reduction; and transmembrane transport, implicating its versatile mode of interaction with the environment and adaptation to various ion homeostasis. The light and scanning electron microscopy indicated that at 24 h post inoculation (PI), adhesion and appressorial formation occurred, notably near the setae. Most infected mites had stopped moving and started dying by 48–72 h PI. Elongated hyphal bodies and oval blastospores were detected in the legs. At 96–120 h PI or longer, dense mycelia and conidial mass had colonized the interior and exterior of dead mites, primarily at the bottom than the upper part. The shelf-life study also indicated that conidial formulation combined with an oxygen-moisture absorber markedly enhanced the viability and germination after storage at 35 °C for four months. The fungus was tested as safe for humans and animals, according to our toxicological assays. Full article
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10 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
Predatory Ability of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Orius sauteri (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) for Suppression of Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
by Ning Di, Kai Zhang, Qingxuan Xu, Fan Zhang, James D. Harwood, Su Wang and Nicolas Desneux
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121063 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
The lepidopteran pest, Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith), spread rapidly after its first detection in China and has caused significant yield loss to maize production in the southwestern part of the country. Although natural enemies of S. frugiperda are present in the field, biological [...] Read more.
The lepidopteran pest, Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith), spread rapidly after its first detection in China and has caused significant yield loss to maize production in the southwestern part of the country. Although natural enemies of S. frugiperda are present in the field, biological control using naturally distributed predators is ineffective because their underlying populations are too low. To enhance our understanding of the potential role of natural enemies in regulating this invasive pest, functional response experiments were conducted to quantify the response of two predators, Orius sauteri (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), in terms of consumption of S. frugiperda. Experimental results revealed that the predatory effects of nymphs of O. sauteri and H. axyridis on the eggs and larvae of S. frugiperda fitted Holling’s Type II functional response model. Importantly, the theoretical maximum number of prey consumed per day (Na-max), the instantaneous attack rate (a′) and the handling time (Th) of O. sauteri nymphs on S. frugiperda eggs were 15.19, 0.7444 and 0.049 d, respectively; and the parameters on first instar larvae of S. frugiperda were 700.24, 0.5602 and 0.0008 d, respectively. These data contrast to those of H. axyridis, where the Na-max, a′ and Th of adults on eggs of S. frugiperda were 130.73, 1.1112 and 0.085 d, respectively, and on the first instar larvae of S. frugiperda were 1401.1, 0.8407 and 0.0006 d, respectively. These results revealed that H. axyridis is a highly voracious predator of the eggs and young larvae of S. frugiperda and O. sauteri could also be used as biocontrol agent of this pest. Our work provides a theoretical framework for the application of natural enemies to control S. frugiperda in the field. Further research is required to strategize conservation biological control approaches in the field to increase populations of these predators and enhance the suppression of S. frugiperda. Full article
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12 pages, 1501 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Anystis baccarum against Foxglove Aphids, Aulacorthum solani, in Laboratory and Small-Scale Greenhouse Trials
by Taro Saito and Michael Brownbridge
Insects 2021, 12(8), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12080709 - 07 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3163
Abstract
A generalist predatory mite, Anystis baccarum (L.), has been identified as a key predator of small, soft-bodied pest species in various agroecosystems around the world. The foxglove aphid Aulacorthum solani (Keltenbach) is a new problematic pest in Canadian greenhouses. Laboratory colonies of A. [...] Read more.
A generalist predatory mite, Anystis baccarum (L.), has been identified as a key predator of small, soft-bodied pest species in various agroecosystems around the world. The foxglove aphid Aulacorthum solani (Keltenbach) is a new problematic pest in Canadian greenhouses. Laboratory colonies of A. baccarum were established and its predatory efficacy against A. solani was assessed. In laboratory trials, A. baccarum ate approximately one adult aphid or seven first instar aphids in 24 h. In a greenhouse bench trial on sweet peppers with the free-flying aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi Haliday, the population dynamics of A. solani in the presence or absence of A. baccarum was evaluated. Although the parasitoid alone successfully eradicated A. solani, when A. baccarum were present on the plants, the aphid population was eradicated more rapidly. Fruit yield was also 15% higher from plants where A. baccarum was released than the control (without A. baccarum). Furthermore, plants were naturally infested by Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) during the trial, which caused visible feeding damage to the fruits. Anystis baccarum also predates on thrips and thrips’ feeding damage to the fruits was reduced on plants where A. baccarum was released. Anystis baccarum was able to establish in sweet peppers and was determined to be complementary to the current practice of using A. ervi for the biological control of A. solani. Full article
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10 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Intraguild Interactions between the Mealybug Predators Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and Chrysoperla carnea
by Laura Golsteyn, Hana Mertens, Joachim Audenaert, Ruth Verhoeven, Bruno Gobin and Patrick De Clercq
Insects 2021, 12(7), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070655 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
The ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea have shown potential for use in augmentative biological control of mealybug pests in greenhouse crops. In the context of combining these predators within an integrated pest management system, the risk of negative intraguild [...] Read more.
The ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea have shown potential for use in augmentative biological control of mealybug pests in greenhouse crops. In the context of combining these predators within an integrated pest management system, the risk of negative intraguild interactions between both predators was evaluated in a laboratory setting. Different life stages of either predator were confronted in petri dish arenas containing a Ficus benjamina leaf, and after 24 h the incidence and direction of intraguild predation (IGP) was recorded for each combination. The effect of adding Planococcus citri nymphs or Ephestia kuehniella eggs as extraguild prey on the level of IGP was also studied. IGP was frequently observed between the two predator species and was asymmetrical in favour of C. carnea in most cases. The presence of extraguild prey reduced the number of IGP events between the predators to a similar extent. The relevance of the observed intraguild interactions for the combined use of these predators in protected cultivation is discussed. Full article
10 pages, 417 KiB  
Article
Effects of Helicoverpa armigera Egg Age on Development, Reproduction, and Life Table Parameters of Trichogramma euproctidis
by Nazanin Atashi, Parviz Shishehbor, Ali Asghar Seraj, Arash Rasekh, Seyed Ali Hemmati and Eric W. Riddick
Insects 2021, 12(7), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070569 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2133
Abstract
The noctuid Helicoverpa armigera is an economically important pest of agricultural crops in Iran and other countries. Research is evaluating the capacity of Trichogramma parasitoids to control H. armigera populations on field crops. The objective of this research was to determine if [...] Read more.
The noctuid Helicoverpa armigera is an economically important pest of agricultural crops in Iran and other countries. Research is evaluating the capacity of Trichogramma parasitoids to control H. armigera populations on field crops. The objective of this research was to determine if young rather than old H. armigera eggs were optimal for Trichogramma euproctidis development, reproduction, and life table parameters. Bioassays involved exposing T. euproctidis mated females to H. armigera 14, 38, or 62 h old eggs within 24 h in laboratory arenas. Results indicated that the number of host eggs parasitized successfully by T. euproctidis decreased as host egg age increased. Host egg age had no significant effect on T. euproctidis adult emergence. Adults that developed in 14 h old eggs had greater longevity and fecundity than those that developed in 38 h or 62 h old eggs. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) was greatest, and the mean generation time (T) was lowest for T. euproctidis reared in 14 h old eggs. This study indicates that young H. armigera eggs are more suitable than old ones for T. euproctidis development and reproduction. This study is important because it provides evidence, for the first time, that T. euproctidis can utilize H. armigera as a rearing host. Using young rather than old host eggs could ensure the persistence of a T. euproctidis mass production system to support augmentative releases. Full article
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15 pages, 1319 KiB  
Article
Functional Response and Predation Rate of Dicyphus cerastii Wagner (Hemiptera: Miridae)
by Gonçalo Abraços-Duarte, Susana Ramos, Fernanda Valente, Elsa Borges da Silva and Elisabete Figueiredo
Insects 2021, 12(6), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12060530 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2982
Abstract
Dicyphine mirids are important biological control agents (BCAs) in horticultural crops. Dicyphus cerastii Wagner can be found in protected tomato crops in Portugal, and has been observed feeding on several tomato pests. However, the predation capacity of this species is poorly studied. In [...] Read more.
Dicyphine mirids are important biological control agents (BCAs) in horticultural crops. Dicyphus cerastii Wagner can be found in protected tomato crops in Portugal, and has been observed feeding on several tomato pests. However, the predation capacity of this species is poorly studied. In order to investigate the predation capacity of D. cerastii, and how it is affected by prey size and mobility, we evaluated the functional response (FR) and predation rate of female predators on different densities of four prey species: Myzus persicae 1st instar nymphs (large mobile prey), Bemisia tabaci 4th instar nymphs, Ephestia kuehniella eggs (large immobile prey) and Tuta absoluta eggs (small immobile prey). Experiments were performed on tomato leaflets in Petri dish arenas for 24 h. Dicyphus cerastii exhibited type II FR for all prey tested. The predator effectively preyed upon all prey, consuming an average of 88.8 B. tabaci nymphs, 134.4 E. kuehniella eggs, 37.3 M. persicae nymphs and 172.3 T. absoluta eggs. Differences in the FR parameters, attack rate and handling time, suggested that prey size and mobility affected predation capacity. Considering the very high predation rates found for all prey species, D. cerastii proved to be an interesting candidate BCA for tomato crops. Full article
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13 pages, 1521 KiB  
Article
dsRNA-Mediated Pest Management of Tuta absoluta Is Compatible with Its Biological Control Agent Nesidiocoris tenuis
by Nomi Sarmah, Athanasios Kaldis, Clauvis Nji Tizi Taning, Dionysios Perdikis, Guy Smagghe and Andreas Voloudakis
Insects 2021, 12(4), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12040274 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3274
Abstract
RNAi-mediated insect pest management has recently shown promising results against the most serious pest of tomato, the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta. This study aimed to investigate whether dsRNA (dsTa-αCOP) designed to target the T. absoluta-αCOP gene could cause [...] Read more.
RNAi-mediated insect pest management has recently shown promising results against the most serious pest of tomato, the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta. This study aimed to investigate whether dsRNA (dsTa-αCOP) designed to target the T. absoluta-αCOP gene could cause adverse effects to its biocontrol agent, the mirid predator, Nesidiocoris tenuis. Oral exposure of N. tenuis to dsRNA (dsNt-αCOP) designed to target N. tenuis-αCOP resulted in a 61%, 67% and 55% reduction in its transcript level in comparison to the sucrose, dsGFP and dsTa-αCOP treatments, respectively. In addition, significantly higher mortality of 57% was recorded in dsNt-αCOP-treated N. tenuis when compared to the sucrose (7%), dsGFP (10%) and dsTa-αCOP (10%) treatments. Moreover, the predation rate of ~33–39 Ephestia kuehniella eggs per N. tenuis adult dramatically reduced to almost half in the surviving dsNt-αCOP-treated N. tenuis. This worst-case exposure scenario confirmed for the first time that the RNAi machinery is functional in this species and that the risk of exposure through the oral route is possible. In contrast, dsTa-αCOP did not cause any sub-lethal effects to N. tenuis upon oral exposure. Oral exposure of T. absoluta to dsTa-αCOP resulted in 50% mortality. In the context of a biosafety risk assessment of RNAi-mediated insect management, investigating the effects on non-target organisms is essential in order to include this method as part of an integrated pest management strategy. Based on our laboratory assays, RNAi-mediated control is compatible with the biological control of T. absoluta by its natural enemy N. tenuis, adding the RNAi approach in the armoire of integrated pest management of T. absoluta. Full article
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15 pages, 1205 KiB  
Article
Impact of Metarhizium robertsii on Adults of the Parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Parasitized Anastrepha ludens Larvae
by Ehdibaldo Presa-Parra, Francisco Hernández-Rosas, Julio S. Bernal, Jorge E. Valenzuela-González, Jovita Martínez-Tlapa and Andrea Birke
Insects 2021, 12(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020125 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3116
Abstract
Biological control of the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens, is mainly carried out by releasing parasitoids, such as Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, and by applying entomopathogenic fungi (EPF), such as Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana, or Isaria fumosorosea, which can be [...] Read more.
Biological control of the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens, is mainly carried out by releasing parasitoids, such as Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, and by applying entomopathogenic fungi (EPF), such as Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana, or Isaria fumosorosea, which can be applied to the soil or dispersed using infective devices. The combined use of two or more biocontrol agents could improve A. ludens control, but IGP between natural enemies, if it occurs, may have negative effects. We evaluated the effects of EPF on D. longicaudata. First, we determined the susceptibility of adults of D. longicaudata to strains of EPF (Metarhizium robertsii strain V3-160 and M. anisopliae strain MAAP1). We also evaluated the infection of these two fungi on A. ludens larvae parasitized by D. longicaudata. Finally, we determined sub-lethal effects on adults of D. longicaudata that emerged from larvae that had been exposed to low concentrations of M. robertsii. Both fungi caused moderate mortality to D. longicaudata adults. There were no adverse effects on the longevity of parasitoids that emerged from parasitized larvae exposed to M. robertsii. Based on these results, we argue that M. robertsii has the potential to be used for biocontrol of A. ludens, with limited risk to D. longicaudata adults. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2022, 2021

13 pages, 1317 KiB  
Article
Susceptibility of Various Developmental Stages of the Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, to Entomopathogenic Nematodes
by Rajendra Acharya, Hwal-Su Hwang, Md Munir Mostafiz, Yeon-Su Yu and Kyeong-Yeoll Lee
Insects 2020, 11(12), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120868 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4317
Abstract
The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, which is native to Central and South America, has recently invaded Africa and Asia, causing serious damage to various crops. Although management to date has been largely unsuccessful, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are a potential biological control agent [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, which is native to Central and South America, has recently invaded Africa and Asia, causing serious damage to various crops. Although management to date has been largely unsuccessful, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are a potential biological control agent that could be used to control the late larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda that dwell under the ground. Here, we compared the virulence of seven EPNs against larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda. In a Petri dish assay, both Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema carpocapsae were highly virulent against younger larvae, whereas S. arenarium and S. longicaudum were highly virulent against older larvae. In contrast, H. bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis sp., and S. kushidai showed low virulence against all larval stages. In soil column and pot assays, H. indica, S. carpocapsae, and S. longicaudum were highly virulent against late larval and pupal stages compared with the other EPN species. Thus, H. indica, S. carpocapsae, and S. longicaudum are recommended for the biological control of S. frugiperda. Our study provides important information of EPNs for the practical application of biological control of fall armyworm. Full article
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11 pages, 262 KiB  
Review
Volatile and Non-Volatile Organic Compounds Stimulate Oviposition by Aphidophagous Predators
by Eric W. Riddick
Insects 2020, 11(10), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11100683 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2828
Abstract
Introduction: Evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and non-VOCs stimulate oviposition by aphidophagous predators is scattered throughout the literature. The objectives of this review are to (1) compile records indicating that VOCs and non-VOCs are responsible for oviposition stimulation, (2) calculate an egg [...] Read more.
Introduction: Evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and non-VOCs stimulate oviposition by aphidophagous predators is scattered throughout the literature. The objectives of this review are to (1) compile records indicating that VOCs and non-VOCs are responsible for oviposition stimulation, (2) calculate an egg production ratio (EPR) for stimulated predators, and (3) determine if EPR is correlated with vapor pressure and molecular weight of active compounds. Methods: The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), National Agricultural Library, online digital catalog system was used to retrieve abstracts, then the full text of manuscripts on oviposition stimulants for predators. Oviposition-stimulating VOCs and non-VOCS were tabulated with molecular weights and vapor pressure estimates. EPRs were calculated for stimulated coccinellids, syrphids, and chrysopids. Results: Both VOCs and non-VOCs stimulated oviposition behavior by coccinellids and syrphids, but not chrysopids. EPR was greatest for syrphids. Two VOCs, (E)-β-farnesene and 3-methyl-2-butenal, stimulated very high EPR values by the syrphid Episyrphusbalteatus. Regardless of predator taxa, EPR was negatively and positively correlated with molecular weight and vapor pressure, respectively. Conclusions: Syrphids (rather than coccinellids or chrysopids) produce more eggs in response to VOCs. Organic compounds with low-to-moderate molecular weights and moderate-to-high vapor pressures might be most effective oviposition stimulants for aphidophagous predators. Full article
14 pages, 883 KiB  
Article
Compatibility between Entomopathogenic Fungi and Egg Parasitoids (Trichogrammatidae): A Laboratory Study for Their Combined Use to Control Duponchelia fovealis
by Emily Silva Araujo, Alex S. Poltronieri, Carolina G. Poitevin, José Manuel Mirás-Avalos, Maria Aparecida Cassilha Zawadneak and Ida Chapaval Pimentel
Insects 2020, 11(9), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090630 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2943
Abstract
The European pepper moth, Duponchelia fovealis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a key pest in strawberry production. Entomopathogenic fungi (EF) and parasitoids of the Trichogrammatidae family are effective biological control agents of this pest with the potential to be used jointly for improved efficacy. This [...] Read more.
The European pepper moth, Duponchelia fovealis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a key pest in strawberry production. Entomopathogenic fungi (EF) and parasitoids of the Trichogrammatidae family are effective biological control agents of this pest with the potential to be used jointly for improved efficacy. This study aims to evaluate the susceptibility of Trichogramma atopovirilia and Trichogramma pretiosum to two Beauveria bassiana strains (B2 and B3) and two commercial bioinsecticides (Bovemax® and Methamax®) by applying them to D. fovealis eggs in pre- and post-parasitism periods. Pre-parasitism application of B2 and B3 did not affect the percentage of D. fovealis eggs parasitized by either Trichogramma species, except in the case of T. atopovirilia when eggs were sprayed with B3 at 1.5 × 105 conidia mL−1 (16.7% less than the control). In contrast, eggs sprayed with 1.5 × 108 conidia mL−1 of the commercial bioinsecticides were not parasitized by any Trichogramma species. Overall, the EF tested reduced the parasitism rate, adult emergence, and longevity of Trichogramma adults by less than 30% in all cases. The adverse effects of the B. bassiana strains and commercial products on the biological traits of both Trichogramma species were minimal, meaning that these agents can be used jointly in D. fovealis control strategies. Full article
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9 pages, 226 KiB  
Article
Effects of Three Artificial Diets on Life History Parameters of the Ladybird Beetle Stethorus gilvifrons, a Predator of Tetranychid Mites
by Jafar Ebrahimifar, Parviz Shishehbor, Arash Rasekh, Seyed Ali Hemmati and Eric W. Riddick
Insects 2020, 11(9), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090579 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2819
Abstract
Background: The ladybird beetle Stethorus gilvifrons (Mulsant) is an important natural enemy of tetranychid mites and functions as a biological control of these plant pests. The development, survival and reproduction of S. gilvifrons were studied when fed on three artificial diets. The components [...] Read more.
Background: The ladybird beetle Stethorus gilvifrons (Mulsant) is an important natural enemy of tetranychid mites and functions as a biological control of these plant pests. The development, survival and reproduction of S. gilvifrons were studied when fed on three artificial diets. The components of the artificial diet that S. gilvifrons could be reared successfully on for one generation with no use of tetranychid mites were examined. Methods: Artificial diets consisted of sucrose, honey, royal jelly, agar, yeast, date palm pollen supplemented in different diets with hen’s egg yolk (AD1, as basic diet), Ephestia kuehniella Zeller eggs (AD2), or E. kuehniella eggs and 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (AD3). Results: Adults and larvae of Stethorusgilvifrons fed on AD1 had a shorter immature development and preoviposition periods than those fed on AD2 and AD3. The total number of deposited eggs was significantly higher for the females fed on AD3 than on the other diets. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) of S. gilvifrons was highest on AD3, followed by AD2, and AD1. Conclusion: Stethorus gilvifrons performed best on AD3, indicating the potential of this artificial diet for the mass rearing of this important predatory ladybird beetle. Full article
10 pages, 2157 KiB  
Article
Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Methyl Benzoate on the Predatory Bug Nesidiocoris tenuis
by Md Munir Mostafiz, Errol Hassan, Jae-Kyoung Shim and Kyeong-Yeoll Lee
Insects 2020, 11(6), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060377 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3529
Abstract
Benzoates (naturally occurring plant toxins) produce pesticidal effects on various pest insects and mites, but their effects on non-target insects are poorly understood. In this study, we evaluate the lethal and sublethal toxicity of methyl benzoate (MB) to adults of the generalist predatory [...] Read more.
Benzoates (naturally occurring plant toxins) produce pesticidal effects on various pest insects and mites, but their effects on non-target insects are poorly understood. In this study, we evaluate the lethal and sublethal toxicity of methyl benzoate (MB) to adults of the generalist predatory bug Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae). To assess lethal effects, N. tenuis was exposed to plant surfaces treated with 0.25%, 0.5% and 1% MB, as well as negative and positive controls (water and the neonicotinoid acetamiprid, respectively). Exposure to 1% MB resulted in the highest corrected mortality of 17.8% and 13.3% under laboratory and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Thus, 1% MB can be classified as harmless to N. tenuis according to the International Organization for Biological Control rating scheme. At the sublethal level, MB exposure did not significantly affect the consumption of eggs of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by N. tenuis relative to negative control feeding rates. In contrast, acetamiprid at the manufacturer’s recommended concentration reduced N. tenuis feeding activity by 45.4%. Furthermore, in a Y-tube olfactometer assay, there were no significant differences between the olfactory responses of N. tenuis to MB concentrations and the negative control (water). This study therefore suggests that MB could be used safely for pest control in combination with N. tenuis. Full article
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14 pages, 1363 KiB  
Article
Rigorous Morphological Studies Confirm That the Classical Object of Pest Control Chilocorus kuwanae Is the Same Species as Ch. renipustulatus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
by Andrzej O. Bieńkowski and Marina J. Orlova-Bienkowskaja
Insects 2020, 11(6), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060368 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2777
Abstract
The ladybug Chilocorus kuwanae, which was described in Japan, has been used for biological control of pests for 100 years. Chilocorus kuwanae was recently synonymized with Ch. renipustulatus described in Europe. The synonymy was based on the examination of few specimens. Our [...] Read more.
The ladybug Chilocorus kuwanae, which was described in Japan, has been used for biological control of pests for 100 years. Chilocorus kuwanae was recently synonymized with Ch. renipustulatus described in Europe. The synonymy was based on the examination of few specimens. Our aim is to verify this synonymy. We studied all characters previously used to distinguish these taxa: eight metric and nine qualitative characters. Examination of 107 specimens from Japan and Sakhalin and 174 specimens from Europe showed that the ranges of variability in all characters in Asian and European specimens strongly overlap. There are no characters with interspecific hiatuses. Analysis with Amadon’s criteria showed that Asian and European specimens also do not represent different subspecies. Conclusions: (1) No differences between the specimens from Asia (Japan and Sakhalin) and Europe were found at specific or subspecific levels. Chilocorus kuwanae is a junior synonym of Ch. renipustulatus. (2) The releases of “Chilocorus kuwanae” in Europe and the Caucasus did not represent classical biological control since the same species was native to these regions. (3) A thorough taxonomical revision with the study of morphological variability should be conducted before the introduction of any species to new regions. (4) Taxonomical conclusions based on morphological studies should be confirmed by statistical methods. Full article
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18 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Suitability of European Trichogramma Species as Biocontrol Agents against the Tomato Leaf Miner Tuta absoluta
by Lea Schäfer and Annette Herz
Insects 2020, 11(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060357 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4003
Abstract
The tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta, originally from South America, is an invasive species threatening European tomato crops. Since various insecticides have become ineffective in controlling T. absoluta, effective and environmentally friendly alternatives are needed. Biological control, especially by Trichogramma parasitoids, [...] Read more.
The tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta, originally from South America, is an invasive species threatening European tomato crops. Since various insecticides have become ineffective in controlling T. absoluta, effective and environmentally friendly alternatives are needed. Biological control, especially by Trichogramma parasitoids, is considered to be an effective means of reducing this pest. Thus, the aim of our study was to identify promising candidates of Trichogramma parasitoids for biological control of T. absoluta in Europe. We assessed the efficiency of nine European Trichogramma species and compared them to Trichogramma achaeae, as this species is already commercially available. Firstly, we verified species identity of the 10 rearing strains using molecular and morphological methods. Then, host acceptance, host preference (T. absoluta vs. rearing host Sitotroga cerealella eggs) and host searching capacity were tested under laboratory conditions. Our results indicated that T. nerudai, T. pintoi and T. cacoeciae achieved a similar level of parasitism on potted tomato plants as T. achaeae. For the next step, these promising strains should be tested under greenhouse conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 857 KiB  
Article
Effect of UV-Absorbing Nets on the Performance of the Aphid Predator Sphaerophoria rueppellii (Diptera: Syrphidae)
by Rocco Amorós-Jiménez, María Plaza, Marta Montserrat, M. Ángeles Marcos-García and Alberto Fereres
Insects 2020, 11(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030166 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3352
Abstract
Photoselective nets have proven to be effective for aphid pest control as they limit their dispersal ability. However, little is known on the impact of such nets on natural enemies of aphids. In this work, we study the effect of UV-absorbing nets on [...] Read more.
Photoselective nets have proven to be effective for aphid pest control as they limit their dispersal ability. However, little is known on the impact of such nets on natural enemies of aphids. In this work, we study the effect of UV-absorbing nets on the syrphid fly Sphaerophoria rueppellii Wiedemann (Diptera: Syrphidae), a commercially available aphid biocontrol agent in Mediterranean horticultural crops. First, we released mature syrphid adults and evaluated density and dispersal of the resulting immatures in a turnip crop grown under either UV-blocking (Bionet) or standard net. Second, we assessed, under controlled conditions, the impact of UV radiation on fitness-related parameters, and on flight behavior of S. rueppellii adults. Results showed that, while syprhid immature density was higher, their dispersion was reduced under Bionet. UV-absorbing nets are known to influence the dispersion pattern of aphids, which may have indirectly conditioned the distribution of their predator S. rueppellii. On the other hand, the type of net had no influence on the performance of adults. We conclude that the use of photoselective nets and the release of syrphid predators such S. rueppellii are compatible strategies to be used in IPM aphid-control programs. Full article
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