Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2015
Publication Date: 10/23/2015
Citation: Nemec, K.T., Beckendorf, E.A., Hesler, L.S., Riedell, W.E., Lundgren, J.G. 2015. The effect of flowering calendula and cuphea plants on Orius insidiosus survival and predation of Aphis glycines. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 26: 12-22. doi: 10.1080/09583157.2015.1072130.
Interpretive Summary: Predators often eat pollen and nectar to create a nutritionally balanced diet, and so providing floral resources can improve survival of these beneficial insects. Here, we tested whether two flowering oilseed crops, cuphea and calendula, were used by the predator Orius insidiosus in the laboratory, and whether providing these other plants might improve predation on soybean aphids. We found that Orius survival was not improved by having the flowering plants associated with soybeans and that Orius consumed similar numbers of aphids regardless of whether other plants are associated with the soybeans. In a follow-up assay, we demonstrate that the sticky trichomes on cuphea increased the mortality of the Orius. The results of our trials need to be validated under more realistic conditions, but this research demonstrates that under these simplified conditions that the species of plants under consideration for conservation of predators in agroecosystems need to be considered carefully.
Technical Abstract: Flowering oilseed crops have the potential to diversify agroecosystems currently dominated by corn and soybeans and improve the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control. Nectar and pollen feeding may increase natural enemy fitness and searching behavior, increasing their survival and prey consumption rates. The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura; Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a particularly widespread and costly agricultural pest. In this study, we evaluate the effects of two flowering oilseed crops, cuphea and calendula, on the survival of the insidious flower bug (Orius insidiosus Say; Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and its consumption levels of A. glycines placed on soybean plants. We also evaluated the survival of O. insidiosus when placed on glandular and non-glandular cuphea varieties. The amount of A. glycines that remained unconsumed by O. insidiosus did not differ among treatments. Because mortality levels of O. insidiosus were higher on glandular compared to non-glandular cuphea plants, glandular trichomes, or plant hairs, may play a role in impeding movement and prey consumption by O. insidious.