Quality Assessment of Selected Commercially Available Whitefly and Aphid Biological Control Agents in the United States

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Abstract:

This study assessed the quality of three commercially available natural enemies used for pest management in greenhouses: the whitefly parasitoid Encarsia formosa Gahan (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), the aphid parasitoid Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and the aphid predatory midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Shipment packaging was consistent for all natural enemies. However, there was high variability in delivery punctuality, product cost, and product information provided by each of the six selected companies. Product quantity, percentage of emergence upon arrival, percentage of total emergence, percentage of females, and percentage of flying insects were assessed using International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) recommended procedures. The parameters with greatest variability between companies were percentage of emergence upon arrival (0.9–10.5%) and percentage of flying insects (35.4–85.0%) for E. formosa; product quantity (623.3–833.8 aphid mummies), percentage of emergence upon arrival (6.1–41.2%) and percentage of females (51.1–54.8%) for A. colemani; and percentage of emergence upon arrival (0.0–7.7%) and percentage of females (54.6–76.2%) for A. aphidimyza. Results are discussed in terms of the value to consumers and compared with IOBC standards.

Keywords: Aphidius colemani; Aphidoletes aphidimyza; Encarsia formosa; augmentation biological control; quality control

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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