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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344635

Research Project: IPM Methods for Insect Pests of Orchard Crops

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Predatory behavior of long-legged flies (Diptera:Dolichopodidae) and their potential negative effects on the parasitoid biological control agent of the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera:Liviidae)

Author
item Cicero, Joseph - University Of Florida
item Adair, Matthew - Florida Research Center For Agricultural Sustainability (FLARES)
item Adair, Robert - Florida Research Center For Agricultural Sustainability (FLARES)
item Hunter, Wayne
item Avery, Pasco - University Of Florida
item Mizell, Russell - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2016
Publication Date: 6/12/2017
Citation: Cicero, J.M., Adair, M.M., Adair, R.C., Hunter, W.B., Avery, P., Mizell, R.F. 2017. Predatory behavior of long-legged flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) and their potential negative effects on the parasitoid biological control agent of the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae).Florida Entomologist. 100(2):485-487.

Interpretive Summary: Large populations of long-legged predatory flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) impose heavy predation pressure on inundative releases of Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitoid wasps released to control the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae). At times of release of the psyllid parasitoid, if coinciding with predatory fly peak activity, the flies on wing will efficiently catch wasps in mid-air as fast as the wasps are sprinkled from shipment containers onto the leaves of citrus plants. Flies on leaves enter into entrained scramble competition for prey by systematically “canvassing” upper leaf surfaces in rapid, jerked movements and, albeit infrequently, attack and eat wasps when encountered during this behavior. We determined the best times for release of parasitoids which would improve survival and increase suppression of the Asian citrus psyllid.

Technical Abstract: Impact of biological control agents such as parasitoids can be improved by determining best times for release when predation pressures will be reduced. Large populations of long-legged predatory flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) impose heavy predation pressure on inundative releases of the parasitoid wasp, Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) released to control the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Observed at times of release of Tamarixia radiata, originally coincided with predatory fly peak activity. During this time the flies on wing efficiently caught wasps in mid-air as fast as the wasps were sprinkled from shipment containers onto the leaves of citrus plants. Flies on leaves enter into entrained scramble competition for prey by systematically “canvassing” upper leaf surfaces in rapid, jerked movements and, albeit infrequently, attack and eat wasps when encountered during this behavior. Shifting release times to early evening when the predatory flies are less active is proposed to improve survival and increase suppression of the Asian citrus psyllid.