Legarrea, S. and Weintraub, P. G. and Plaza, M. and Viñuela Sandoval, Elisa and Fereres Castiel, Alberto
Dispersal of aphids, whiteflies and their natural enemies under photoselective nets.
"Biocontrol", v. 57
Integrated Pest Management of insects includes several control tactics, such as the use of photoselective nets, which may reduce the flight activity of insects. Limiting the dispersal of pests such as aphids and whiteflies is important because of their major role as vectors of plant viruses, while a minor impact on natural enemies is desired. In this study, we examined for the first time the dispersal ability of three vector species, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in cages covered with photoselective nets. Contrary to the results obtained with aphids, the ability of the whitefly B. tabaci, to reach the target plant was reduced by photoselective nets. In a second set of experiments, the impact of UV-absorbing nets on the visual cues of two important predator species, Orius laevigatus (Fieber) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae), was evaluated. The anthocorid was caught in higher numbers in traps placed under regular nets, whereas the mites preferably chose environments in which the UV radiation was attenuated. We have observed a wide range of effects that impedes generalization, although photoselective nets have a positive effect on pest management of whiteflies and aphids under protected environments.