Biological Control Potential and Drawbacks of Three Zoophytophagous Mirid Predators against Bemisia tabaci in the United States
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AuthorRoda, Amy; Castillo, Jose; Allen, Carina; Urbaneja, Alberto; Pérez-Hedo, Meritxell; Weihman, Scott; Stansly, Philip A.
Cita bibliográficaRoda, Amy, Jose Castillo, Carina Allen, Alberto Urbaneja, Meritxell Pérez-Hedo, Scott Weihman and Philip Stansly. 2020. Biological Control Potential and Trade-Offs of Three Established Zoophytophagous Mirid Predators Against Bemisia tabaci in the United States name: Insects, 11, 670.
Miridae (Hemiptera) of the tribe Dicyphini are important zoophytophagous predators use to control pest arthropods in vegetable crops. However, the risk that their herbivory may cause economic damage could hinder their application as useful biocontrol agents and may limit the likelihood they would meet regulatory requirements for importation. We conducted field cage studies to assess the predation capacity and tomato plant damage of three mirid species established in south USA, a known biocontrol agent (Nesidiocoris tenuis), and two native species (Macrolophus praeclarus and Engytatus modestus). All three species significantly reduced the number of whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) on tomato plants compared to tomato plants without mirids. More damage, evaluated as the number of necrotic rings, was observed on tomato plants with E. modestus and N. tenuis compared to M. praeclarus. In our experiments that included sesame plants (Sesamum indicum) with tomato plants, mirid numbers increased despite a low number of prey, thus showing a benefit of the plant-feeding habit of these predators. USA’s established mirids may therefore prove to be immediately available biological agents for the management of present and future tomato pests.