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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 293

The interactions between natural enemies and their role in controlling Bactericera cockerelli in potatoes

F.H. MacDonald and G.P. Walker


The impacts of naturally occurring predators for control of Bactericera cockerelli (tomato-potato psyllid; TPP) have been assessed in potatoes at Pukekohe for 3 years. Results indicate that the most commonly found predator species are Micromus tasmaniae (brown lacewing) and Melanostoma fasciatum (small hoverfly) with populations of small hoverfly eggs and larvae reaching up to almost 200 per plant in unsprayed plants over January and February. Continuing with intensive studies on TPP, these naturally occurring predators appear to be important biological control agents. In laboratory "choice" and "no choice" assays results indicate these two predator species eat all life stages of TPP even in the presence of aphids. The intra-guild interactions between predator species are now being investigated to ascertain from a suite of predators on potatoes which are likely to be the best allies in developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme for potatoes. Laboratory studies indicate that larvae of small hoverfly and larval and adult life stages of Coccinella undecimpunctata (11-spotted ladybird) may be displacing brown lacewings.

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