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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 292

Seasonal abundance of Bactericera cockerelli and beneficial insects in a potato crop in Canterbury

N. Jorgensen, N.M. Taylor, N.A. Berry and R.C. Butler

ABSTRACT

The tomato/potato psyllid (TPP), Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), has been regarded as a significant pest of solanaceous crops in New Zealand since its discovery in 2006. Current management of TPP relies primarily on the use of insecticides. A better understanding of the role of beneficial insects in the control of TPP is needed to guide future Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. In Canterbury 2010-11, the seasonal abundance of TPP and beneficial insects was monitored in a low-spray potato crop using yellow sticky traps and in-crop plant assessments. The brown lacewing (Micromus tasmaniae) was the most abundant beneficial insect encountered, followed by ladybird species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella undecimpunctata). Numbers of adult brown lacewings and ladybirds peaked on sticky traps in December 2010, while adult TPP numbers peaked in February 2011. Brown lacewing eggs were present on potato plants throughout the season, with the highest numbers found during January/early February 2011. Numbers of all life stages of TPP were highest on potato plants from mid January to the end of the monitoring period in mid February 2011 (crop spray-off).

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