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Encounters with aphid predators or their residues impede searching and oviposition by the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Aphidiinae)

Almohamad, Raki, Hance, Thierry
Insect science 2014 v.21 no.2 pp. 181-188
Aphidius ervi, Episyrphus balteatus, Harmonia axyridis, Myzus persicae, Vicia faba, bioassays, biological control, environmental factors, faba beans, foraging, larvae, leaves, natural enemies, oviposition, parasitoids, predation, predators
Intraguild predation (IGP) can be an important factor influencing the effectiveness of aphid natural enemies in biological control. In particular, aphid parasitoid foraging could be influenced by the presence of predators. This study investigated the effect of larvae of the predatory hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus DeGeer (Diptera: Syrphidae) and the multicolored Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on the foraging behavior of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi Haliday (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in choice experiments using a leaf disc bioassay. Wasp response to chemical tracks left by those predator larvae was also tested. Parasitoid behavior was recorded using the Observer (Noldus Information Technology, version 5.0, Wageningen, the Netherlands). The experiments were conducted under controlled environmental conditions using leaves of the broad bean plant, Vicia faba L. (Fabaceae) with Myzus persicae Sulzer (Homoptera: Aphididae) as the host complex. A. ervi females avoided aphid patches when larvae of either predator were present. A similar avoidance response was shown by A. ervi to aphid patches with E. balteatus larval tracks, whereas no significant response was observed to tracks left by H. axyridis larvae. It was concluded that IG predator avoidance shown by the aphid parasitoid A. ervi may be a factor affecting their distribution among host patches.