The Development of an Economic Threshold for Nasonovia ribisnigri (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Lettuce in Central Spain

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This study reports economic thresholds for the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley), based exclusively on cosmetic damage, that is, presence or absence of aphids at harvest time. Field trials were conducted in La Poveda Experimental Farm, Madrid (Spain) during autumn (2004 and 2005) and spring (2005 and 2006). Plants were arranged in plots and just before the formation of lettuce hearts they were infested with different densities of N. ribisnigri. Two days later, half of each plot was treated with tau-fluvalinate (Klartan24AF) and the other half remained as an untreated control. Economic thresholds were obtained from nonlinear regressions calculated between the percentage of commercial plants at the end of the crop cycle for both, treated and untreated semiplots, and the different initial densities of N. ribisnigri per plant. Two criteria were used to consider a commercial lettuce plant: a conservative estimate (0 aphids/plant) and a lax one (<5 aphids/plant). Thus, an economic threshold was established for each season and criterium. The economic thresholds that were obtained with the most and least conservative criteria were in spring 0.06 and 0.12 aphids per plant, and in autumn 0.07 and 0.13 aphids per plant, respectively. These results show that to avoid cosmetic damage, insecticide sprays are required when a very low aphid density is detected in lettuce seedlings soon after transplant.

Keywords: aphid damage; economic threshold; edibility; lettuce crop

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2013

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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