Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington (2019) 121, 657-680

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Erin L. Maxson, Michael J. Brewer, William L. Rooney and James B. Woolley (2019)
Species composition and abundance of the natural enemies of sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Zehnter) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), on sorghum in Texas
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 121 (4), 657-680
Abstract: The sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner), is an emergent sorghum pest in the United States. This study was designed to identify which natural enemy species are present in aphid populations in sorghum in Texas, and to track the seasonal population trends of the aphid and its natural enemies on sorghum hybrids that differ in susceptibility to the aphid. From 2015 through 2016, sugarcane aphid and its natural enemies were sampled weekly in plots of aphid-susceptible and partially aphid-resistant sorghum hybrids at two field sites in Nueces County and Burleson County, Texas. In 2015, aphids and natural enemies had greater peak abundance on the susceptible hybrid than on the resistant hybrid. Peak abundance of most natural enemies tended to lag behind that of aphids by one to two weeks. Natural enemy taxa observed at both field sites included two primary parasitoid wasp species (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae: Aphelinus nigritus Howard stat. rev.; Braconidae: Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson)), one species of hyperparasitoid (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), ten lady beetle species (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and three morphospecies of dusky lady beetle (Coccinellidae: Scymninae), three hoverfly species (Diptera: Syrphidae), five green lacewing species (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), brown lacewings (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae: Hemerobius), and minute pirate bugs (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae: Orius insidiosus (Say)). Aphelinus and Coccinellidae were the numerically dominant natural enemy groups in all sorghum hybrids, followed by Chrysopidae and Syrphidae. Aphids mummified by Aphelinus were hyperparasitized by Syrphophagus aphidivorus at a rate of approximately 90%. Natural enemy densities were similarly proportionate to aphid densities on both aphid-susceptible and aphid-resistant plants. Overall, the continuity of natural enemy species composition and population trends supports that these natural enemies responded positively to sugarcane aphid on sorghum.
(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): Michael J. Brewer

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Melanaphis sacchari Sorghum (crop) U.S.A. (mid S)
Lysiphlebus testaceipes (parasitoid) Melanaphis sacchari Sorghum (crop) U.S.A. (mid S)
Orius insidiosus (predator) Melanaphis sacchari Sorghum (crop) U.S.A. (mid S)
Aphelinus nigritus (parasitoid) Melanaphis sacchari Sorghum (crop) U.S.A. (mid S)