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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sunflower Integrated Pest Management - Biological Control: Predators and Parasitoids

Author
item Charlet, Laurence

Submitted to: Great Plains Sunflower Insect Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecologically based control strategy that forms a part of the overall crop production system. The use of biological control is a fundamental tactic for suppression of pests within an effective IPM program. Biological control is the use of natural enemies against a pest population to reduce the insect's density and damage to a level lower than there would be in their absence. The natural enemies of insect pests fall into three types. The predators include lady beetles, ground beetles, syrphids, lacewings, and predaceous bugs. The immature stages are mobile, they usually consume more than one host during their development, are often generalist feeders and often both the adults and immatures feed on the host insect. In contrast to predators, parasitoid adults are free-living, the immature stage lives on or inside a single host and kills the host before completing development. Parasitoids are often specific to one or at least closely related species of host insects. Parasitoids are usually members of the order Hymenoptera or wasps and a few are members of the order Diptera or flies. Pathogens are disease causing organisms that include viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoans, and nematodes. Biological control has the advantage of being self-perpetuating once established, but does require detailed knowledge of the pest's biology and population dynamics. Information is presented on the predators and parasitoids attacking the major species of insect pests of the cultivated sunflower crop. Challenges for the future include additional studies on the complex of predators and parasitoids in cultivated sunflower, their biology, and population dynamics and searches for new enemies in attacking pests in native sunflowers in their areas of origin.

Technical Abstract: Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecologically based control strategy that forms a part of the overall crop production system. The use of biological control is a fundamental tactic for suppression of pests within an effective IPM program. Biological control is the use of natural enemies against a pest population to reduce the insect's density and damage to a level lower than there would be in their absence. The natural enemies of insect pests fall into three types. The predators include lady beetles, ground beetles, syrphids, lacewings, and predaceous bugs. The immature stages are mobile, they usually consume more than one host during their development, are often generalist feeders and often both the adults and immatures feed on the host insect. In contrast to predators, parasitoid adults are free-living, the immature stage lives on or inside a single host and kills the host before completing development. Parasitoids are often specific to one or at least closely related species of host insects. Parasitoids are usually members of the order Hymenoptera or wasps and a few are members of the order Diptera or flies. Pathogens are disease causing organisms that include viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoans, and nematodes. Biological control has the advantage of being self-perpetuating once established, but does require detailed knowledge of the pest's biology and population dynamics. Information is presented on the predators and parasitoids attacking the major species of insect pests of the cultivated sunflower crop. Challenges for the future include additional studies on the complex of predators and parasitoids in cultivated sunflower, their biology, and population dynamics and searches for new enemies in attacking pests in native sunflowers in their areas of origin.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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