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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 49-53

Predation of apple leafcurling midge, Dasineura mali, by Sejanus albisignata

P.W. Shaw and D.R. Wallis

ABSTRACT

The predatory mirid bug, Sejanus albisignata, has been observed feeding on apple leafcurling midge (ALCM) eggs, but quantitative data on its potential as a predator of ALCM are lacking. Two methods were trialled to assess predation of ALCM by S. albisignata. In a laboratory experiment, apple shoots infested with freshly laid ALCM eggs were contained with and without a S. albisignata adult and, in a field experiment, paper bags were secured over shoots with ALCM eggs and individual S. albisignata nymphs were introduced into half of these. There were significant reductions of surviving midge larvae on shoots confined with adult predators, and reduced numbers of midge-infested leaves and larvae on bagged shoots with S. albisignata nymphs. Results from these non-choice trials indicate that S. albisignata can be an effective predator of ALCM. More detailed feeding studies would determine if adult and immature S. albisignata have a preference for midge eggs or larvae.

Keywords: apple leafcurling midge, Dasineura mali, predation, Sejanus albisignata, feeding study.

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