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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 269-275

Monitoring Bactericera cockerelli and associated insect populations in potatoes in South Auckland

G.P. Walker, F.H. MacDonald, N.J. Larsen and A.R. Wallace

ABSTRACT

Bactericera cockerelli (the tomato-potato psyllid; TPP) and associated insects were monitored weekly in unsprayed potatoes at Pukekohe by using yellow sticky traps and sampling plants from late July 2009 until mid March 2010. TPP adult catches and egg and nymphal infestations were absent or low until mid December. Other exotic and native psyllid species dominated trap catches until TPP populations increased markedly in mid January and peaked at 120 adults per trap in late February, with egg numbers reaching 520 per plant a week later. TPP nymphs peaked at 260 per plant in early February. Micromus tasmaniae (brown lacewing) was common in spring and summer, but Melanostoma fasciatum (small hover fly) became the dominant predator, peaking at 162 eggs and 35 larvae per plant in mid January. Naturally occurring predators appear to be important biological control agents of aphids, small caterpillars and probably TPP on potatoes at Pukekohe.

Keywords: tomato-potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, sticky traps, plant sampling, potatoes, Melanostoma fasciatum, Micromus tasmaniae.

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