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The delay in arrival of the parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae influences the efficiency of cabbage aphid biological control

© Bruno Jaloux
The efficiency of the biological control strategies based on parasitoids, either as a release or a conservative measure, depends on the timely arrival or release of the parasitoids after colonization of the field by the pest.

In this study, the effects of the delay between the cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae infestation and the release of its parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae and of the number of parasitoid releases on aphid population dynamics and host plant growth were investigated. When the parasitoids were released at the start of the infestation, 89.6% of the aphids were parasitized one month later, and the damage to cabbage was low. The identical number of parasitoids released 2 weeks after the start of the infestation partially controlled the aphid population, but the growth of the cabbage was altered.

The earliest introduction of the parasitoid to the crop led to an efficient host regulation, and the release in three times rather than in one time did not improve the control efficiency at this release delay. The implications for biological control strategies that use parasitoids of aphids are discussed.

Neuville S., Le Ralec A., Outreman Y. & Jaloux B. (2015). The delay in arrival of the parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae influences the efficiency of cabbage aphid biological control. BioControl, on line. DOI