2009 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Both parties have an interest in the development of biological control as a component for integrated pest management programs needed for exotic pest insects that pose a threat to U.S. agriculture. Many of the exotic insects that have been introduced into the U.S. through south Florida are pests of ornamentals; and movement of ornamentals may provide pathways for dispersal of these pests into other areas of the continental U.S. However, basic and applied research on biocontrol organisms is not part of the CRIS. Information obtained by the research of the collaborator, however, will be instrumental in advancing research on the chemical ecology of the biocontrol agents and integration of biological control agents with other pest management components being developed by ARS for mitigation of exotic insect pests.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The cooperator at the University of FL will conduct research on the basic biology and the use of biological organisms for control of pests of subtropical and tropical ornamental plants. This research will include basic biology of the pest insects, development of rearing methods for pest and biological control agents, tests of host susceptibility to biological control agents, integration of biological control agents with insecticide control measures, and laboratory and field tests of biological control agent efficacy and distribution.
This project relates to the inhouse objective: Develop trapping and control components and systems for integrated pest management of exotic pest insects in the Carribean, Central and South America, that pose a threat to U.S. Agriculture.
Research was conducted on three introduced parasitoids of the papaya mealybug, including host stage susceptibility and sex ratio, host stage suitability, and interspecific competition among the three biological control agents. One manuscript on this research has been submitted to a peer-review journal and one manuscript is in preparation.
Methods of monitoring research activities conducted under this agreement included site visits and meetings with cooperator (2 times per year), phone discussions, and email communications.