|Ciomperlik, Matthew - USDA, APHIS, MISSION, TX|
|Legaspi, JR., Benjamin - TEXAS AG EXP ST TEXAS A&M|
Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 2001
Publication Date: June 1, 2001
Citation: Legaspi, J.C., Ciomperlik, M., Legaspi, Jr., B.C. 2001. Field cage evaluation of Serangium parcesetosum as a predator of blackfly eggs. Southwestern Entomologist. 26(2):171-172. Interpretive Summary: Not applicable.
Technical Abstract: Serangiurn parcesetosum Sicard is a promising biological control agent against whiteflies in the Bemisia complex, both because of its voracity and its preference for whitefly prey. Despite its potential as a biological control agent against Alcyrodid, whiteflies, it has received little research interest. In a field cage study, we evaluated S. parcesetosum adults as predators of citrus blackfly eggs. The study was conducted in a commercial grapefruit orchard in Hargill, TX that was heavily infested with the citrus blackfly. S. parcesetosum adults were obtained from a colony reared in Mission, TX. Screen cages were placed around individual terminals consisting of 6 to 10 leaves. The predators were starved for approximately 12 h and released at the rate of one beetle per cage into the treatment cages. The control cages received no predators. The predators were allowed to feed on the citrus blackfly eggs for 12 d then the leaf terminals were brought to the laboratory to record numbers of eggs that hatched. Egg hatc rather than predation was measured because in previous observations, S. parcesetosum punctured eggs without consuming them completely. The pre-release egg counts showed no significant differences between the control and treatment. In the predator treatment, numbers of eggs averaged 383.4 per cage, compared to 367 in the control. After predation, significantly fewer eggs hatched in the treatment cages, compared to the control. Even in the absence of predation, only 42.8% of citrus blackfly eggs hatched. Predation by S. parcesetosum for 12 d reduced egg hatch to 12.5%. These results indicate that S. parcesetosum is not as voracious on citrus blackfly eggs as on silverleaf whitefly nymphs, but may cause measurable suppression of citrus blackfly populations in the field.