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Effect of seven species of the family Asteraceae on longevity and nutrient levels of Episyrphus balteatus

Pinheiro, L. A., Torres, L., Raimundo, J., Santos, S. A. P.
BioControl 2013 v.58 no.6 pp. 797-806
Anthemis, Calendula arvensis, Carduus tenuiflorus, Chamaemelum nobile, Crepis, Episyrphus balteatus, adults, agroecosystems, biological control, flowers, glucose, lipids, longevity, natural enemies, nectar, nutrient content, pests, pollen
Adult hoverflies feed on pollen, nectar and honeydews. Thus, the implementation of floristically diverse resources in agroecosystems can enhance biological control of pests by increasing populations of these natural enemies. The objective of this work was to study the effect of seven species of Asteraceae (Andryala integrifolia L., Anthemis arvensis L., Calendula arvensis L., Carduus tenuiflorus Curtis, Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All., Coleostephus myconis (L.) Rchb.f. and Crepis vesicaria L.) on adult longevity and nutrient levels of Episyrphus balteatus (De Geer) (Diptera: Syrphidae). Crepis vesicaria and C. nobile gave the highest mean longevities while, for the other plant species, longevities were not significantly different from those in the water only treatment. In addition, all species tested resulted in significantly lower longevities than the positive control (glucose). In terms of nutrient levels, C. nobile generated high levels of total sugars and C. vesicaria high levels of lipids which suggests the consumption of flower resources. However, the majority of the plants tested would not allow hoverflies to complete their life cycle. Thus, further experimentation needs to be done before considering these plants for implementation in agroecosystems.