Biocontrol Science and Technology (2013) 23, 448-464

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Jean Fitzgerald and Chantelle Jay (2013)
Implications of alternative prey on biocontrol of pests by arthropod predators in strawberry
Biocontrol Science and Technology 23 (4), 448-464
Abstract: A range of naturally occurring predator species or commercially produced predators can be used in biocontrol strategies for pests. However, multiple potential prey species or other alternative food sources are often present for predatory insects at any one time. The availability of this 'alternative' prey may affect specific pest control by predators and thus influence the release rates of predators required for economic pest control. Strawberry aphid (Chaetosiphon fragaefolii), western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) and European tarnished plant bug (Lygus rugulipennis) are important and damaging pests in strawberry. In this study, laboratory, glasshouse and field experiments were undertaken to assess the effects of the availability of multiple prey species on biocontrol of specific pests. Results indicated that two of the predators tested showed preferences for prey species such that biocontrol of a particular pest was often less effective when a combination of pest species was present than would have been expected from results of experiments with single prey species alone. The experiments indicated that Orius laevigatus preferred C. fragaefolii to F. occidentalis or to L. rugulipennis, and preferred L. rugulipennis to F. occidentalis. Chrysoperla carnea was shown to prefer C. fragaefolii to L. rugulipennis, and C. fragaefolii over F. occidentalis. Therefore, it is important to consider the effects of alternative prey on suppression of pest species when deciding on management strategies and release rates of predators.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Database assignments for author(s): Jean D. Fitzgerald

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Frankliniella occidentalis Strawberry (Fragaria)
Lygus rugulipennis Strawberry (Fragaria)
Chaetosiphon fragaefolii Strawberry (Fragaria)
Orius laevigatus (predator) Lygus rugulipennis Strawberry (Fragaria)
Orius laevigatus (predator) Chaetosiphon fragaefolii Strawberry (Fragaria)