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9 April 2019 Short-Term Increases in Aphid Dispersal From Defensive Dropping Do Not Necessarily Affect Long-Term Biological Control by Parasitoids
Michelangelo La-Spina, Sarah E. Jandricic, Rose Buitenhuis
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Foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani (Kaltenbach) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)) is one of the principal aphid pests of greenhouse ornamental crops in North America. Biological control of foxglove aphid mostly relies on the use of Aphidius ervi Haliday (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). However, studies indicate that A. ervi may not be adapted to search for A. solani, and that in response to parasitoid attack aphids can drop and/or disperse, which may aggravate an infestation. Our goal was to further describe the searching behavior of A. ervi in the presence of foxglove aphids, the corresponding defensive behavior of foxglove aphid and the short- and medium-term effects on both pest dispersal and control by A. ervi. Behavioral observations were done on top and bottom leaves infested with foxglove aphid and a high release rate of A. ervi. Parasitoids tended to land on top leaves; however, more aphids were parasitized on bottom leaves, leading to equal numbers of parasitoid attacks in both locations. Most aphids dropped off the plant in the presence of a parasitoid. In large cage experiments, aphids were allowed to distribute naturally and A. ervi was released. The parasitoid still caused a high rate of aphid dropping. However, only a few aphids were able to successfully reach new plants, and most of these mummified over time. Our studies confirm that parasitoid-induced dispersal of foxglove aphid in greenhouse crops does occur, but also suggests this should not necessarily be a barrier to adoption of biological control, as A. ervi controls the aphids over time.

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Michelangelo La-Spina, Sarah E. Jandricic, and Rose Buitenhuis "Short-Term Increases in Aphid Dispersal From Defensive Dropping Do Not Necessarily Affect Long-Term Biological Control by Parasitoids," Journal of Economic Entomology 112(4), 1552-1559, (9 April 2019).
Received: 9 November 2018; Accepted: 2 March 2019; Published: 9 April 2019

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aphid biological control
Aphidius ervi
Aulacorthum solani
Nonconsumptive effects
parasitoid–aphid interactions
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