Predation potential and life history of three nabid species as biological control agents of pests in Canadian greenhouses

Biological Control, Volume 186, November 2023, 105335
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Abstract: Sato, T., C.M. MacDonald and R. Buitenhuis. Nabids are hemipteran generalist predators commonly associated with agroecosystems. In this study, the predation rate of Nabis americoferus Carayon, N. roseipennis Reuter, and Hoplistoscelis pallescens Kerhzner on several common greenhouse pests was assessed in the laboratory, compared to the most closely related commercially available predator in North America, Dicyphus hesperus Knight (Heteroptera: Miridae). In addition, life history parameters of the nabids were determined to estimate their capacity for population increase, an important data set when considering their mass rearing and population establishment in crops. Our results showed that the three nabid species are generally more voracious predators than D. hesperus, especially when fed adult green peach aphids, adult western flower thrips and adult greenhouse whiteflies. Dicyphus hesperus preyed more on two spotted spider mites and greenhouse whitefly nymphs. Nabis americoferus consumed more western flower thrips larvae than all other species. Of the three nabids, N. americoferus also performed significantly better as a predator of western flower thrips. Additionally, N. americoferus had a significantly shorter egg to adult development time, and had a shorter pre-oviposition period than the other two species. Based on its predation capacity and favourable life history characteristics, N. americoferus was selected for further development as a new biological control agent for the North American market.

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