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Abundance and effects of predators and parasitoids on the Russian wheat aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) under organic farming conditions in Colorado



Abundance and effects of predators and parasitoids on the Russian wheat aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) under organic farming conditions in Colorado



Environmental Entomology 29(2): 360-368



Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko) is an exotic, economically important pest in North American cereal crops. A survey of insect natural enemies of D. noxia was made from 1991 to 1994 on a farm using organic farming methods. Crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum L., had fewer D. noxia and natural enemies than barley, Hordeum vulgare L., or wheat, Triticum aestivum L., but on all plants D. noxia was the most abundant aphid. We observed 41 species of natural enemies: 15 carabids, 12 coccinellids, six spiders, five syrphids, two nabids, and two chrysopids. The most consistently abundant were the coccinellids and nabids. Hippodamia convergens (Guerin) and Nabis alternatus Parsh were the most common species in each family, respectively. Diaeretiella rapae M'Intosh was the only primary parasitoid found in the 4-yr study, and D. noxia parsitism rates were generally <5%. Four hyperparasitoids, found in association with D. rapae, combined to make a 29% average hyperparasitism rate. Predator and parasitoid exclusion studies using cages showed aphid populations to be between 2.6 and 11.2 times higher in cages compared with wheat plants exposed to natural enemies. Four predatory species were released--Eupeodes nuda (F.), Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), Leucopis ninae Tanasijtshuk, and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (L.). Of these, only a small colony of eight L. ninae and only one P. quatuordecimpunctata were later observed. Four parasitoids species were released--Aphelinus asychis Walker, Aphelinus varipes Forester, Aphelinus matricariae Haliday, and Diaerietilla rapae. Only A. asychis and D. rapae were observed after the release date, although D. rapae were already present.

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Accession: 003350437

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1603/0046-225x(2000)029[0360:aaeopa]2.0.co;2



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