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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353325

Research Project: Production and Deployment of Natural Enemies for Biological Control of Arthropod Pests

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Oviposition strategies in beneficial insects

item Riddick, Eric
item DINDO, MARIA - University Of Bologna
item Grodowitz, Michael
item Cottrell, Ted

Submitted to: International Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2018
Publication Date: 6/25/2018
Citation: Riddick, E.W., Dindo, M.L., Grodowitz, M.J., Cottrell, T.E. 2018. Oviposition strategies in beneficial insects. International Journal of Insect Science. 10:1-3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In this special collection, the oviposition strategies of two tachinid flies, salvinia weevil, and a ladybird beetle are described, from an applied (rather than fundamental) perspective. Tachinid flies are important parasitoids of herbivorous insects, especially larval lepidopterans. A few species have been used in applied biological control to manage populations of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar). The authors indicate that two tachinids, Exorista larvarum and Exorista japonica, have the potential to control other lepidopterans, if knowledge of their biology, behavior, and host-parasitoid interactions can be increased and their mass rearing capacity optimized. The salvinia weevil (Cyrtobagous salviniae) is an effective herbivore of giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), an aquatic plant introduced into the U.S. from South America in the late 1990’s which causes major ecological and infrastructural problems in over 20 tropical and subtropical countries. The authors developed methods and techniques to assess the physiological age of the ovaries of C. salviniae. These techniques can be used to predict the reproductive health of a population. They can also be used to maximize the release of individuals in prime reproductive condition for biological control of giant salvinia. The predatory ladybird beetle Coleomegilla maculata is an important predator of insect pests (e.g., aphids) on small fruits, vegetables, and several field crops. The authors discovered that polyphenols and bioflavonoids, identified in Eastern redcedar heartwood, stimulated oviposition behavior by C. maculata. This research could be used to design cost-effective mass rearing operations with the goal of producing large quantities of ladybird beetles for biological control of plant pests, such as aphids.