Tools for Evaluating Lipolexis oregmae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in the Field: Effects of Host Aphid and Host Plant on Mummy Location and Color Plus Improved Methods for Obtaining Adults

Raghuwinder Singh, Marjorie A. Hoy

Abstract


Lipolexis oregmae Gahan was introduced into Florida in a classical biological control program directed against the brown citrus aphid, Toxoptera citricida (Kirkaldy), on citrus. Prior to evaluating distribution, host range, and potential nontarget effects of L. oregmae in Florida, we evaluated the role of other potential host aphids and host plants on mummy production and location. Under laboratory conditions, this parasitoid produced the most progeny on the target pest, the brown citrus aphid on citrus. This parasitoid, unlike the majority of aphidiids, did not produce mummies on any of the host plants tested when reared in black citrus aphid T. aurantii (Boyer de Fonscolombe) on grapefruit, spirea aphid Aphis spiraecola Patch on grapefruit and pittosporum, cowpea aphid A. craccivora Koch on grapefruit and cowpeas, or melon aphid A. gossypii Glover on grapefruit and cucumber. Thus, sampling for L. oregmae mummies of these host aphids and host plants must involve holding foliage in the laboratory until mummies are produced. This parasitoid requires high relative humidity to produce adults because no adults emerged when mummies were held in gelatin capsules, but high rates of emergence were observed when mummies were held on 1.5% agar plates. In addition, we compared the color of 6 aphid hosts and the color of mummies produced by L. oregmae when reared in them to determine if color of mummies could be used to identify L. oregmae. Mummy color varied between aphid hosts and tested host plants, and is not a useful tool for identifying L. oregmae for nontarget effects.

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