Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2017
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Citation: Patt, J.M. 2018. Occurrence of coccinellids that prey on Diaphorinia citri (Hemiptera:Liviidae) on Euphorbia heterophylla (Euphorbiacea) and Chamaecrista fasciculata (Fabaceae) in a south Florida residential area. Florida Entomologist. 101.1:131-134.
Interpretive Summary: Research was conducted to determine if nectary plants can be used to attract and retain natural enemies of the Asian citrus psyllid. The psyllid is an important citrus pest. Surveys over an eight month period showed that thirteen different species of ladybugs that feed on the psyllid were associated with two nectary plant species, and some of the ladybug species were abundant on these plants. This is a first step in determining whether the addition of nectary plants into an area can increase the abundance and diversity of biocontrol agents of Asian citrus psyllid.
Technical Abstract: Adding plant-based nutritional resources to a landscape may help to recruit and retain predaceous and parasitic arthropods. As a first step in determining whether the addition of nectary plants can increase the abundance and diversity of biocontrol agents of Diaphorina citri and psyllid suppression in urban and unmanaged landscapes in southern Florida, the occurrence of coccinellids was recorded on a native poinsettia, Euphorbia heterophylla (L.) and partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene, a native legume. Thirteen coccinellid species consisting of a total of 663 specimens were collected over the course of the eight month long sampling period. A total of 464 specimens comprising 12 species were collected from Euphorbia heterophylla from June to October, with three species, Coelophora inequalis, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Harmonia axyridis, comprising the majority of species collected. A total of 199 specimens comprising six species were collected from Chamaecrista fasciculata from September to February. Nearly 80% of the specimens collected from Chamacrista fasciculata were Chamaecrista montrouzieri.