Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2005
Publication Date: 4/30/2005
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2005. Parasitism of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Alyerodidae) after multiple releases of Encarsia sophia (Hymenoptera: aphelinidae) in three vegetable crops. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 22(2): 73-77.
Interpretive Summary: The B-biotype sweetpotato whitefly (also called silverleaf whitefly) is an important agricultural insect pest. Application of insecticides is the common method growers use to control this pest. However, environmentally friendly whitefly management methods are needed. A study was conducted on the use of a parasite, Encarsia sophia, for whitefly control. The parasite only feeds on immature whiteflies. Adults of the parasites were released throughout the season in fields of cabbage, cucumber, and eggplant. In all cases, more whiteflies were killed in plots of the vegetables where parasites were released as compared with where no releases were made. The added parasites appeared to have been most effective in whitefly control in the cabbage and cucumber fields. The results from this study may help in the development of improved whitefly management strategies for growers.
Technical Abstract: Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), the B-biotype sweetpotato whitefly, is a global pest on numerous agricultural crops. A study was conducted to evaluate the incidence of parasitism on B. tabaci in selected vegetables following multiple releases of adult Encarsia sophia (Girault Dodd). Two species of parasitoids, En. sophia and Eretmocerus mundus Mercet, were recovered from the leaf samples. Parasitism increased during the season in each of three crops (cabbage, cucumber, and eggplant) studied. Parasitism resulting from the naturally occurring Er. mundus reached around 30 to 40% in cabbage and cucumber, but parasitism reached to about twice these rates in plots where En. sophis were released. The impact of the releases appear to have been least in eggplant. The results from this study may be useful in the development of improved whitefly management strategies.