Predatory gall midges on mealybug pests - Diversity, life history, and feeding behavior in diverse agricultural settings

Idan Hayon, Zvi Mendel, Netta Dorchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Predatory gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) are some of the most common natural enemies associated with mealybugs. However, the generally poor knowledge on their life history and taxonomy has obscured their role in the biological-control of these pests. A comprehensive survey in vineyards and in banana, citrus, persimmon and pomegranate orchards throughout Israel, using more than 670 sentinel baits, revealed five species of gall midges. All species fed in the laboratory on Planococcus citri (Risso) and Phenacoccus solani Ferris, and in trials with Diadiplosis multifila (Felt) no preference for either of these mealybug species was found. Larvae fed on all stages of the mealybugs, and the gall midges completed their life cycle within 10-20 days. Adult peak activity of the five studied species was in summer, with low numbers obtained from baits in winter and fall. No difference in overall numbers of gall midges was found among crops, and differences in species composition among sites are attributed to geographic and climatic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Control
Volume99
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Cecidomyiidae
  • Phenology
  • Predation behavior
  • Prey range
  • Pseudococcidae

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