Submitted to: Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2010
Publication Date: 3/28/2011
Publication URL: DOI 10.1111/j.1744-7917.2010.01342.x
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2011. Inundative Field Releases and Evaluation of Three Predators for Bemisia tabasi (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Management in Three Vegetable Crops. Insect Science. 18:195–202. Interpretive Summary: Whiteflies are important pests of many crops on a global scale. There have only been a few reports of field studies on the performance of insect predators against the sweetpotato whitefly. Three types of insect predators (a lady beetle, a lacewing, and a mirid bug) were released throughout the growing season in crops of cabbage, cucumber and squash in Egypt. Each predator reduced sweetpotato whitefly infestation by 25-45% over most of the season in each crop. These results help researchers and others understand the utility of massive releases of certain predators for managing whiteflies in field vegetable crops.
Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a global pest on numerous crops, including vegetables. Weekly inundative releases of a coccinellid predator (Coccinella undecimpunctata L.), a mirid predator [Macrophillus caliginosus (Wagner)] and a neuropteran predator [Chrysoperla carnea Stephen] were independently made in three vegetable crops [cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and squash (Cucurbita pepo L.)] in Egypt for the management of B. tabaci. About 1 million to 2.5 million larvae or nymphs of each predator were released in the crops during 20 weeks. Whitefly populations were reduced by about 25-45% during most of the season in each crop where each predator was released. The effect of each predator was similar on whitefly population reduction. Late in the season (October) when whitefly populations were low, generally no benefit was obtained from releasing the predators. Numbers of predators recovered during sampling were greatest for C. carnea; this corresponded with the higher numbers of C. carnea that were released as compared with the other predators in the experiment. These results help define the utility of these natural enemies for managing B. tabaci in field vegetable crops.