Biological control of Amblypelta spp (Hemiptera: Coreidae) using Oecophylla smaragdina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) - Progress, prospects and challenges

R.K. Peng, K. Christian, K. Gibb

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    Coreidae bugs, Amblypelta spp, are economically important insect pests. Predation and parasitism are conventionally considered unimportant in controlling Amblypelta, and this results in heavy use of chemical insecticides. However, a number of natural enemies of Amblypelta have been identified, and among these, predacious ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, can significantly reduce populations of Amblypelta. Data from field surveys, observations and long-term monitoring, demonstrated the significant control efficiency of the main species of Amblypelta by the ants. Field experiments showed that the best way of using the ants to manage Amblypelta populations was at the colony level. Bio-ecology of the ants is reviewed with respect to each of the nine criteria of using ants to control insect pests. The geographical distribution of Amblypelta spp is examined against that of O. smaragdina. For some tropical tree crops, it is possible to produce "insecticide free products" by using O. smaragdina colonies to manage the main insect pests including Amblypelta spp. Future use of the ants as a major element of an IPM program is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)495-502
    Number of pages8
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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