Biological control of the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens using weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina on African mahoganies in Australia

Renkang Peng, Keith Christian, Don Reilly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    1 African mahogany Khaya senegalensis is a high-value timber tree. Pilot plantings showed that the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens causes severe damage of the tree in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. The weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is an efficient biocontrol agent in some horticulture crops. To investigate whether the ants control this pest, field experiments were conducted from April 2006 to January 2009 at two study sites in the Darwin area, Australia. A laboratory experiment was carried out in March 2007 at Berrimah Farm. 2 During the experimental period, in the weaver ant treatments, the overall percentage of trees damaged by the pest was 0-8% at both sites, and the damaged trees were attacked once only. In the treatments without weaver ants, however, the damage level was > 80% at Berrimah Farm and 31-100% at Howard Springs, and the damaged trees were attacked more than once. 3 The mean percentage of trees damaged per monitoring occasion was 0-2.6% in the weaver ant treatments at both sites, whereas, in the treatments without the ants, the damage percentages were 14.2-27.0% at Howard Springs and 28.2-48.6% at Berrimah Farm. 4 Extrafloral nectar of African mahoganies is attractive to weaver ants. Fruit-spotting bugs only damage the tender parts of flushing shoots and growing tips. Weaver ants live on sugar solution and meat, and they frequently harvest extrafloral nectar on growing shoots, on which they catch nymphs of the pest for their meat supply. The aggressive behaviour of the ants also repels the pest away from flushing shoots. 5 The data suggest that weaver ants were effective biocontrol agents of fruit-spotting bugs, and the ants can be used to manage the pest on African mahoganies. 6 The present study demonstrates that the introduced African mahogany comprises another major host of the fruit-spotting bug. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)428-433
    Number of pages6
    JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
    Volume14
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Fingerprint

    Amblypelta lutescens
    Amblypelta nitida
    Oecophylla smaragdina
    biological control
    ant
    Formicidae
    fruit
    pests
    Meliaceae
    damage
    biocontrol agent
    shoot
    nectar
    farm
    farms
    flushing
    shoots
    biological control agents
    meat
    Khaya senegalensis

    Cite this

    @article{379898b18e48440eb98cd1e07b71b32c,
    title = "Biological control of the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens using weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina on African mahoganies in Australia",
    abstract = "1 African mahogany Khaya senegalensis is a high-value timber tree. Pilot plantings showed that the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens causes severe damage of the tree in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. The weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is an efficient biocontrol agent in some horticulture crops. To investigate whether the ants control this pest, field experiments were conducted from April 2006 to January 2009 at two study sites in the Darwin area, Australia. A laboratory experiment was carried out in March 2007 at Berrimah Farm. 2 During the experimental period, in the weaver ant treatments, the overall percentage of trees damaged by the pest was 0-8{\%} at both sites, and the damaged trees were attacked once only. In the treatments without weaver ants, however, the damage level was > 80{\%} at Berrimah Farm and 31-100{\%} at Howard Springs, and the damaged trees were attacked more than once. 3 The mean percentage of trees damaged per monitoring occasion was 0-2.6{\%} in the weaver ant treatments at both sites, whereas, in the treatments without the ants, the damage percentages were 14.2-27.0{\%} at Howard Springs and 28.2-48.6{\%} at Berrimah Farm. 4 Extrafloral nectar of African mahoganies is attractive to weaver ants. Fruit-spotting bugs only damage the tender parts of flushing shoots and growing tips. Weaver ants live on sugar solution and meat, and they frequently harvest extrafloral nectar on growing shoots, on which they catch nymphs of the pest for their meat supply. The aggressive behaviour of the ants also repels the pest away from flushing shoots. 5 The data suggest that weaver ants were effective biocontrol agents of fruit-spotting bugs, and the ants can be used to manage the pest on African mahoganies. 6 The present study demonstrates that the introduced African mahogany comprises another major host of the fruit-spotting bug. ",
    keywords = "Amblypelta lutescens, Formicidae, Khaya senegalensis, Oecophylla smaragdina, Oecophyllini, Swietenia",
    author = "Renkang Peng and Keith Christian and Don Reilly",
    year = "2012",
    doi = "10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00584.x",
    language = "English",
    volume = "14",
    pages = "428--433",
    journal = "Agricultural and Forest Entomology",
    issn = "1461-9555",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "4",

    }

    Biological control of the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens using weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina on African mahoganies in Australia. / Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith; Reilly, Don.

    In: Agricultural and Forest Entomology, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2012, p. 428-433.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Biological control of the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens using weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina on African mahoganies in Australia

    AU - Peng, Renkang

    AU - Christian, Keith

    AU - Reilly, Don

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - 1 African mahogany Khaya senegalensis is a high-value timber tree. Pilot plantings showed that the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens causes severe damage of the tree in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. The weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is an efficient biocontrol agent in some horticulture crops. To investigate whether the ants control this pest, field experiments were conducted from April 2006 to January 2009 at two study sites in the Darwin area, Australia. A laboratory experiment was carried out in March 2007 at Berrimah Farm. 2 During the experimental period, in the weaver ant treatments, the overall percentage of trees damaged by the pest was 0-8% at both sites, and the damaged trees were attacked once only. In the treatments without weaver ants, however, the damage level was > 80% at Berrimah Farm and 31-100% at Howard Springs, and the damaged trees were attacked more than once. 3 The mean percentage of trees damaged per monitoring occasion was 0-2.6% in the weaver ant treatments at both sites, whereas, in the treatments without the ants, the damage percentages were 14.2-27.0% at Howard Springs and 28.2-48.6% at Berrimah Farm. 4 Extrafloral nectar of African mahoganies is attractive to weaver ants. Fruit-spotting bugs only damage the tender parts of flushing shoots and growing tips. Weaver ants live on sugar solution and meat, and they frequently harvest extrafloral nectar on growing shoots, on which they catch nymphs of the pest for their meat supply. The aggressive behaviour of the ants also repels the pest away from flushing shoots. 5 The data suggest that weaver ants were effective biocontrol agents of fruit-spotting bugs, and the ants can be used to manage the pest on African mahoganies. 6 The present study demonstrates that the introduced African mahogany comprises another major host of the fruit-spotting bug. 

    AB - 1 African mahogany Khaya senegalensis is a high-value timber tree. Pilot plantings showed that the fruit-spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens causes severe damage of the tree in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. The weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is an efficient biocontrol agent in some horticulture crops. To investigate whether the ants control this pest, field experiments were conducted from April 2006 to January 2009 at two study sites in the Darwin area, Australia. A laboratory experiment was carried out in March 2007 at Berrimah Farm. 2 During the experimental period, in the weaver ant treatments, the overall percentage of trees damaged by the pest was 0-8% at both sites, and the damaged trees were attacked once only. In the treatments without weaver ants, however, the damage level was > 80% at Berrimah Farm and 31-100% at Howard Springs, and the damaged trees were attacked more than once. 3 The mean percentage of trees damaged per monitoring occasion was 0-2.6% in the weaver ant treatments at both sites, whereas, in the treatments without the ants, the damage percentages were 14.2-27.0% at Howard Springs and 28.2-48.6% at Berrimah Farm. 4 Extrafloral nectar of African mahoganies is attractive to weaver ants. Fruit-spotting bugs only damage the tender parts of flushing shoots and growing tips. Weaver ants live on sugar solution and meat, and they frequently harvest extrafloral nectar on growing shoots, on which they catch nymphs of the pest for their meat supply. The aggressive behaviour of the ants also repels the pest away from flushing shoots. 5 The data suggest that weaver ants were effective biocontrol agents of fruit-spotting bugs, and the ants can be used to manage the pest on African mahoganies. 6 The present study demonstrates that the introduced African mahogany comprises another major host of the fruit-spotting bug. 

    KW - Amblypelta lutescens

    KW - Formicidae

    KW - Khaya senegalensis

    KW - Oecophylla smaragdina

    KW - Oecophyllini

    KW - Swietenia

    U2 - 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00584.x

    DO - 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00584.x

    M3 - Article

    VL - 14

    SP - 428

    EP - 433

    JO - Agricultural and Forest Entomology

    JF - Agricultural and Forest Entomology

    SN - 1461-9555

    IS - 4

    ER -