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Effects of augmentative releases of eggs and larvae of the ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata, on the abundance of the rosy apple aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea, in organic apple orchards

Wyss, E., Villiger, M., Hemptinne, J.L., Muller-Scharer, H.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1999 v.90 no.2 pp. 167-173
Adalia bipunctata, Dysaphis plantaginea, biological control agents, biological control, ova, larvae, population density, Formicidae, Malus domestica, orchards, predators, Switzerland
The impact of augmentative releases of larvae and eggs of the indigenous ladybird beetle Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) against the rosy apple aphid Dysaphis plantaginea Pass. (Homoptera: Aphididae), a major pest insect on apple trees, was assessed in field experiments in Switzerland, during 1997. In a first experiment, eggs and larvae were released on 3-year old apple trees infested with five aphids at four different predator-prey ratios (0:5, 1:5, 1:1, 5:1). In a second experiment, eggs and larvae were released at a predator-prey ratio of 5:1 on branches of apple trees naturally infested with aphids. In both experiments, the interaction with ants was taken into account and the releases were done at two different times in spring. The results showed that an augmentative release of larvae significantly prevented the build-up of colonies of D. plantaginea. Significant reductions in aphid numbers were recorded at the two highest predator-prey ratios, 1:1 and 5:1. Larvae were efficient just before flowering of apple trees at a time when growers normally have to spray their trees. On trees where ants were present the larvae of A. bipunctata were significantly less efficient. Effects of eggs of A. bipunctata, however, were less reliable. At the first date of release (5 April), they did not hatch, probably as a consequence of bad weather conditions.