Insects (2020) 11 (6 - 381)

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Jeniffer K. Alvarez-Baca, Armando Alfaro-Tapia, Blas Lavandero, Cécile Le Lann and Joan van Baaren (2020)
Suitability and profitability of a cereal aphid for the parasitoid Aphidius platensis in the context of conservation biological control of Myzus persicae in orchards
Insects 11 (6 - 381)
Abstract: The use of cover crops can promote the abundance and early arrival of populations of natural enemies. Cereal cover crops between orchards rows could encourage the early arrival of the parasitoid Aphidius platensis, as they offer alternative winter hosts (e.g., Rhopalosiphum padi), enhancing the control of Myzus persicae in spring. However, the preference for and suitability of the alternative host must be addressed beforehand. To evaluate the potential of this strategy, we assessed host preference using behavioural choice tests, as well as no-choice tests measuring fitness traits, when developing on both host species. One source field for each aphid population from the above hosts was chosen. There was a clear choice for R. padi compared to M. persicae, independently of the source, probably due to more defensive behaviours of M. persicae (i.e., kicks and escapes). Nevertheless, both aphid species were suitable for parasitoids' development. The female progeny developed on R. padi were larger in size, irrespective of their origin. According to our results, in peach orchards with cereals sown between peach trees during the autumn, where we expect when R. padi populations will no longer be available during spring, A. platensis should be able to switch to M. persicae.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Blas Lavandero, Joan van Baaren

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

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Myzus persicae Peach/nectarine (Prunus persica) Chile (continental)
Rhopalosiphum padi Chile (continental)
Aphidius platensis (parasitoid) Myzus persicae Peach/nectarine (Prunus persica) Chile (continental)
Aphidius platensis (parasitoid) Rhopalosiphum padi Chile (continental)