Rapid, High-Throughput Detection of Azalea Lace Bug (Hemiptera: Tingidae) Predation by Chrysoperla rufilabris (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), Using Fluorescent-Polymerase Chain Reaction Primers

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Azalea lace bugs, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott) (Hemiptera: Tingidae), are the most common pest of azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) in nursery production and the landscape. Although pesticides are commonly used to control lace bugs, natural enemies can be a significant source of lace bug mortality. Lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) are natural enemies of lace bugs and easily consume them in laboratory studies. Field studies on lacewing biocontrol of azalea lace bugs are underway; however, monitoring lacewing predation in a nursery environment by direct observation is impractical. Here, we describe a fluorescent-polymerase chain reaction method to estimate S. pyrioides consumption based on the gut contents of lacewing predators. Lace bug DNA was detected in fed lacewings up to 32 h after ingestion. More than 80% of the ingested lace bugs were detected using our method with only one false positive result. The assay is both high-throughput and relatively inexpensive, making it a practical approach to documenting lace bug predation in the field.

Keywords: Stephanitis pyrioides; azaleas; biological control; fluorescence; molecular detection

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-99.6.2136

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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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