Category Archives: Beneficials

Assessing predator and parasitoid activity using sentinel prey

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plantsentinelprey

Of importance to agronomists is how pest populations are changing over time and the likely impact predators will have on the pest population. Predator and parasitoid activity can be difficult to assess under field conditions, particularly the rate at which beneficials can find pest species. In this research, sentinel prey were used to gauge the level of natural predator and… Read more »

Impact of insecticides on silverleaf whitefly parasitoid

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The microscopic natural enemy; Eretmocerus hayati. Image: CSIRO.

The tiny wasp Eretmocerus hayati is an important natural enemy of silverleaf whitefly (SLW) and contributes to the natural biological control of this pest throughout the season. It occurs in almost all regions that grow cotton, but due to its small size (difficult to see without a hand lens) it often goes unnoticed. Like all natural enemies, Eretmocerus is susceptible… Read more »

Ladybirds enjoy a cotton aphid buffet

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The minute two-spotted ladybird beetle (Diomus notescens) and the transverse ladybird beetle (Coccinella transversalis) are two natural enemies of cotton aphid (Aphid gossypii). They are commonly found in Australian crops, however relatively little is known about their biology. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to learn more about aspects of… Read more »

How to check for parasitism in whitefly populations.

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We have fielded numerous enquiries this week from consultants who would like to assess levels of whitefly parasitism. This is achievable in the field with the use of a hand lens. Parasitism levels appear to be a little down from last year, but still good levels have been recovered. Parasitism so far has ranged from 50-90% in Emerald, 35% in… Read more »

Friendly fighter conquers foe

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Microplitis demolitor is just one of many friendly fighters that battle to contain numbers of one of our most important pests, the corn earworm, Helicoverpa armigera. Corn earworm on grain sorghum is making its presence felt and many crops are being sprayed with Helicoverpa nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) to control above-threshold infestations of caterpillars. The current high value of grain sorghum (over… Read more »