Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Heimpel, George
item Ragsdale, David
item Venette, Robert
item Hopper, Keith
item O'neil, Robert
item Rutledge, Claire
item Wu, Zhishan

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2003
Publication Date: 3/20/2004
Citation: Heimpel, G.E., Ragsdale, D.W., Venette, R., Hopper, K.R., O'Neil, R.J., Rutledge, C.E., Wu, Z. 2004. Prospects for importation biological control of the soybean aphid: anticipating potential costs and benefits. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 97(2):249-258 (2004)

Interpretive Summary: The soybean aphid is a major pest of soybean which has recently invaded the United States, putting whole regions of soybean production at risk. As part of an effort to find predators and parasites of this aphid that might be useful for its control, we review the prospects for safe and effective biocontrol introductions against this pest. We conclude that the prospects are good and we recommend redistribution of one strain of parasitic wasp previously established against the Russian wheat aphid, which also attacks the soybean aphid.

Technical Abstract: We discuss the potential pros and cons of using importation biological control against the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Homoptera: Aphididae). Importation of exotic organisms for biological control is never completely risk-free, but the potential negative impacts of not achieving biological control of invasive pests may exceed the risks associated with a biological control introduction. The potential benefits of biological control include reduced insecticide use and a reduced ability of the invasive pest to impact native flora and fauna, and we outline what the scope of these benefits may be for the soybean aphid. The benefits are only accrued, however, if biological control is successful, so the likelihood of successful biological must also be assessed. Accordingly, we outline some issues relevant to predicting the success of importation biological control of the soybean aphid. We also outline the potential risks to non-target organisms that would be associated with importation biological control of the soybean aphid. Currently, two parasitoid species, Aphelinus albipodus Hayat and Fatima (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and Lipolexis gracilis Förster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) have been imported from Asia and have passed through quarantine. We briefly review the biology and host range of these two species. A different strain of A. albipodus that was released against the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko) (Homoptera: Aphididae), in the early 1990's was also found to attack the soybean aphid in the laboratory and has been redistributed from Wyoming to Minnesota and Wisconsin in field releases against the soybean aphid. We discuss our rationale for going forward with this redistribution.

Last Modified: 08/21/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page