Category Archives: Beneficials

Assessing predator and parasitoid activity using sentinel prey

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

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

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.

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 »