Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2012
Publication Date: 3/1/2012
Citation: Gruters Thomas, J.M., Shirk, P.D., Shapiro, J.P., Allan, S.A. 2012. Mass-rearing of a tropical minute pirate bug, Orius Pumilio (Hemiptera:Anthocoridae). Florida Entomologist. 95(1):199-201.
Interpretive Summary: Minute pirate bugs that are beneficial predatory insects can be used effectively in the control of the Florida flower thrips. Scientists at the USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, established culture conditions necessary for mass-rearing of a tropical/sub-tropical species of minute pirate bug, Orius pumilio that has been shown to be an active predator of the Florida flower thrips. The primary period of egg productivity for a mass-culture was established by correlating the ovipositional rate with the ability to produce yolk proteins for eggs. Most critically for vegetable and ornamental growers, the study offers the promise of providing a predator of thrips in mass numbers to augment biological control on Florida organic farms, in greenhouses, and potentially on field crops.
Technical Abstract: Mass-reared colonies of Orius pumilio were monitored to establish growth and development parameters. Colonies had maximal oviposition from 16-d to 31-d after establishment with newly deposited eggs, peaking at 25.8 d. The difference in accumulation of yolk protein in females denied oviposition substrate vs. those provided substrate showed that females from 24-d to 31-d colonies had the capacity to produce the largest amounts of egg material. Time to 50% egg hatch was 104 h. Adult eclosion occurred at 16.5 d (s = 0.3) after oviposition. Time to first egg deposition was 5.3 d (s = 1.6) after adult eclosion. These parameters show that O. pumilio can be efficiently reared in mass quantities as an augmentative biocontrol agent for thrips.