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Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands

Ferrero M.,Montpellier SupAgro | Gigot C.,Montpellier SupAgro | Tixier M.-S.,Montpellier SupAgro | van Houten Y.M.,Koppert BV | Kreiter S.,Montpellier SupAgro
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata | Year: 2010

The efficiency of biological control agents is often affected by local conditions such as low relative humidity (r.h.). This is especially true for mites of the family Phytoseiidae, and particularly for their egg stage. A key issue in biological control is thus to assess the drought tolerance of phytoseiid species that are (or that will be) commercialized. In this study, we evaluated the egg hatching response to a humidity range for six species of Phytoseiidae, by assessing the relative air humidity and vapour pressure deficit (VPD) at which 50% of the eggs hatch: r.h.50 and VPD50. Typhlodromus athiasae Porath & Swirskii and Phytoseiulus longipes Evans (Argentinean strain) were the most drought-tolerant, with a r.h.50 of 43% (VPD50 = 18.2 hPa) and 43% (18.1 hPa), respectively. The most drought-sensitive species were Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (63%, 11.4 hPa), Phytoseiulus macropilis (Banks) (69%, 9.8 hPa), and Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot (70%, 9.4 hPa). Neoseiulus idaeus Denmark & Muma and P. longipes (Chilean strain) showed intermediate responses with 49% (16.1 hPa) and 50% (15.9 hPa), respectively. These results were similar to what had been obtained for the same species by other authors. However, unexpected inter- and intraspecific differences uncorrelated to climatic conditions of the area of origin were observed. The possibility to localize species and/or populations that could be efficient as biological control agents under dry conditions is discussed. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Netherlands Entomological Society.

Calvo F.J.,Koppert Espana S.L. | Bolckmans K.,Koppert BV | Belda J.E.,Koppert Espana S.L.
Biocontrol Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae) has been evaluated as a potential biological control agent for whitefly and thrips, but it has yet to be demonstrated that the addition of A. swirskii to an existing biological control programme improves management of these pests in commercial greenhouses. Experiments were initiated at the beginning of the cropping season in greenhouses located in the two main sweet pepper growing areas of Spain. At each location, a randomised complete block design was used with four replicates and two treatments: (1) current biological control-based Integrated Pest Management standard or (2) this standard supplemented by introductions of A. swirskii. A. swirskii established and reproduced well in the crop and was the most abundant phytoseiid species during the experiment in the plots where it was released. It also provided significant reduction of the whitefly population and pest control costs compared to greenhouses employing the standard. However, the addition of A. swirskii did not reduce thrips populations with respect to plots not receiving the predatory mite, presumably due to the inclusion of the anthocorid bug Orius laevigatus Fieber (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) which established well. These results make the inclusion of A. swirskii in IPM programmes for sweet pepper crops advisable for whitefly control. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Calvo F.J.,Koppert Espana S.L. | Bolckmans K.,Koppert BV | Belda J.E.,Koppert Espana S.L.
BioControl | Year: 2012

Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Het.: Miridae) is widely used as a biological control agent of whiteflies and other pests in greenhouse-grown tomatoes. It is typically released augmentatively some weeks after transplanting and needs several weeks to establish. Releasing N. tenuis prior to transplanting could accelerate its establishment. However, timing for releases could affect biological control and require changes in release rates of the predator. Because N. tenuis is also phytophagous it must be released at a rate which provides the best equilibrium between adequate biological control of Bemisia tabaci Genn. and acceptable injury to the crop. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate different release rates for releasing N. tenuis prior to transplanting for maximizing control capacity and minimizing injury to crop. The study was carried out in two subsequent trials in which different release rates were evaluated under a worst case scenario of rapid immigration of the pest into a tomato greenhouse. In the first experiment (winter experiment), four treatments were compared: (1) B. tabaci (0 N. tenuis/plant), (2) B. tabaci + 0. 5 N. tenuis/plant, (3) B. tabaci + 1 N. tenuis/plant and (4) B. tabaci + 2 N. tenuis/plant. In the second experiment (summer experiment), the treatments were: (1) B. tabaci (0 N. tenuis/plant), (2) B. tabaci + 0. 5 N. tenuis/plant and (3) B. tabaci + 1 N. tenuis/plant. All the evaluated rates significantly reduced the population of whitefly and gave adequate control of the pest. However, only 0. 5 N. tenuis/plant did not increase crop damage compared to the treatment with no N. tenuis. © 2012 International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC).

Calvo F.J.,Koppert Espana S.L. Calle Cobre | Soriano J.D.,Koppert Espana S.L. Calle Cobre | Bolckmans K.,Koppert BV | Belda J.E.,Koppert Espana S.L. Calle Cobre
Biocontrol Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Necremnus artynes is native to the Mediterranean region where it has been observed in greenhouses parasitising Tuta absoluta on tomato. In this study, we evaluated the suitability of the different instars of T. absoluta as hosts for N. artynes and the life-history traits of N. artynes at three different temperature regimes (20, 25 and 30°C) on third instar T. absoluta larvae infesting tomato. N. artynes females preferred third instar T. absoluta larvae for oviposition, whereas host-feeding was significantly higher on the second instar larvae. Duration of life stages was no different between sexes but was affected by temperature, being significantly reduced as temperature increased. Pre-imaginal survival also decreased with temperature and the percentage of females was ca. 70% under all temperature regimes. Adult longevity was 1.5-fold significantly greater at 25°C compared to 30°C with no differences between 20 and 25°C. Fecundity was estimated at 36.3±7.80, 51.8±10.65 and 52.1±10.03 eggs/female and host-feeding at 59.5±8.50, 71.6±12.07, 51.4±7.89 hosts/female at 20, 25 and 30°C, respectively, although these differences among temperatures were not significant. However, oviposition and feeding rate were significantly higher at 30 and 20°C, respectively. The estimated intrinsic rate of increase (r m) was significantly higher as temperature increased from 20 to 30°C and it was greater than those reported for T. absoluta on tomato, indicating the potential of N. artynes to control this pest. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Urbaneja-Bernat P.,Instituto Valenciano Of Investigaciones Agrarias Ivia | Alonso M.,Instituto Valenciano Of Investigaciones Agrarias Ivia | Tena A.,Instituto Valenciano Of Investigaciones Agrarias Ivia | Bolckmans K.,Koppert BV | Urbaneja A.,Instituto Valenciano Of Investigaciones Agrarias Ivia
BioControl | Year: 2013

Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a zoophytophagous predator widely used in integrated pest management programs in both greenhouse and open-field tomato crops. Mass rearing of N. tenuis is greatly dependent on Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) eggs as food source. Moreover, the addition of this factitious prey after the inoculative releases of N. tenuis under field conditions is recommended to facilitate establishment of this mirid. However, E. kuehniella eggs are expensive and availability is limited. One possible strategy to reduce the amount of E. kuehniella eggs needed is the provision of sugar. In this work, the effect of sucrose as nutritional supplement on selected life-history traits of N. tenuis was studied. The addition of sucrose (0.5 M) ad libitum to a diet of E. kuehniella eggs significantly increased the progeny of N. tenuis and did not affect survival of nymphs nor developmental time. Moreover, addition of sucrose significantly reduced the number of E. kuehniella eggs consumed. These results may have practical implications of interest in mass rearing systems of N. tenuis and its management in fields and greenhouses as a part of biological control programs. © 2012 International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC).

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