Which role do lacewings and ants play as predators of the citrus leafminer in Spain?
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Cita bibliográficaUrbaneja, A., Muñoz, A., Garrido, A., Jacas, J. (2004). Which role do lacewings and ants play as predators of the citrus leafminer in Spain?. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 2 (3), 377-384.
In a study about the impact of natural enemies of Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton conducted in Spain, predation appeared as the most important mortality factor. Predators responded to changes in flushing, and this was attributed to continuous availability of preferential prey feeding on tender flushes. In this paper the role of aphid-mutualists and generalist predators feeding on aphids as well as on P. citrella (ants and lacewings, respectively), has been investigated. In the laboratory, Chrysoperla carnea Stephens could complete its development when fed on P. citrella third instars only. In the field, highly statistically significant regressions were obtained between prey indicators (aphid density and flush) and C. carnea densities. Nevertheless, using P. citrella density resulted in a negative relationship. In another field trial, predation rates did not change when ants were excluded from P. citrella-infested trees. Therefore, neither ants, nor lacewings could be identified as key-predators of P. citrella. Although we could not prove the efficiency of these predators, these studies have given us the chance to become aware of the existence of an important guild of unidentified generalist natural enemies.