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Evaluation of stethorus nigripes coleoptera coccinellidae for biological control of spider mites in california usa almond orchards


Entomophaga 27(3): 301-310
Evaluation of stethorus nigripes coleoptera coccinellidae for biological control of spider mites in california usa almond orchards
S. nigripes Kapur (= S. loxtoni Britton and Lee) was imported from Australia in 1978 and released in California during 1978-1980. Laboratory and field cage studies evaluated aspects of S. nigripes biology considered likely to affect establishment. Tests indicated that most .female.female. became nonreproductive during late fall. The females' reproductive arrest seems not to be a true diapause, but may be due to chill experienced by pupae. Survival over winter of both sexes was low if they were not provided abundant prey; honey or water alone were inadequate. S. nigripes adults and larvae could not feed on Panonychus ulmi (Koch) or P. citri (McGregor) eggs and avoided all stadia of Bryobia rubrioculus (Scheuten) in laboratory tests, so it is not a generalist predator of spider mites. S. nigripes also is susceptible to pesticides used to control key insect pests in almonds, including the pyrethroid, permethrin (LC 50 value = 0.48 g A.I. [active ingredient]/100 l water). Releases to establish this predator were discontinued after 3 yr, as S. nigripes' sensitivity to pesticides and its requirement for prey during winter seem sufficient to account for its failure to establish. Even if established, these factors might prevent S. nigripes from becoming an effective spider mite predator in pesticide-treated almond orchards in California.

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Accession: 005401938



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