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Host plant influences establishment and performance of Amblydromalus limonicus, a predator for Bactericera cockerelli

Kean, Aliesha M, Nielsen, Mette‐Cecilie, Davidson, Melanie M, Butler, Ruth C, Vereijssen, Jessica
Pest management science 2019 v.75 no.3 pp. 787-792
Bactericera cockerelli, biological control agents, cultivars, host plants, insecticides, laboratory experimentation, leaf morphology, predatory mites, tomatoes
BACKGROUND: Management of tomato potato psyllid (TPP; Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc)) predominantly relies on insecticides. However, biological control agents (BCAs) could provide viable alternatives to suppress TPP populations. In this laboratory experiment, we assessed the predatory mite Amblydromalus limonicus (Garman & McGregor) as a BCA of TPP on whole plants of two tomato and two pepper cultivars over a 5‐week period. RESULTS: Plant species and cultivar had a significant effect on the ability of A. limonicus to suppress populations of TPP. Numbers of TPP were suppressed by A. limonicus on four pepper treatments, but on only one tomato treatment. Amblydromalus limonicus could survive and reproduce on pepper and tomato, but more were found on pepper at the end of the 5‐week period. CONCLUSION: Amblydromalus limonicus has the potential to suppress TPP populations on pepper but not tomato cultivars, based on the present study. Possible reasons for these results include the difference in leaf morphology between species, and higher predator:prey ratios on pepper than tomato because of the longer TPP generation time on pepper. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry