Saleh, Azzam: Biological and ecological studies on the polyphagous predatory bug Dicyphus tamaninii WAGNER (Heteroptera: Miridae) as a natural enemy of the melon aphid Aphis gossypii GLOVER (Homoptera: Aphididae). - Bonn, 2002. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Azzam Saleh}},
title = {Biological and ecological studies on the polyphagous predatory bug Dicyphus tamaninii WAGNER (Heteroptera: Miridae) as a natural enemy of the melon aphid Aphis gossypii GLOVER (Homoptera: Aphididae)},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2002,
note = {The present research aimed to study the biology and prey consumption by Dicyphus tamaninii WAGNER (Heteroptera: Miridae) by feeding on different age groups of Aphis gossypii GLOVER (Homoptera: Aphididae) as prey at different temperatures in the laboratory. The host plant spectrum for oviposition by the predator was also investigated. Moreover, experiments were conducted to study the interaction of D. tamaninii with other natural enemies and the potential damage it might cause to cucumber. Finally greenhouse experiments were carried out in order to investigate the efficiency of the predator under more natural conditions.
The results of the laboratory experiments showed that D. tamaninii was able to successfully feed, develop and reproduce when exclusively fed on A. gossypii as prey at a wide range of low and high temperatures, however a constant temperature of 35±1°C was fatal to the predator. The predatory bug was able to adapt smoothly to fluctuating prey offer and maintain its capability of oviposition even when the prey was relatively scarce. The average daily prey consumption by the late nymphal instars as well as the adult stage of the predator on A. gossypii was high, where it reached up to 60 aphid/day by the adult female. Although D. tamaninii showed a clear affinity toward A. gossypii, it accepted also other important pest species offered as prey. Although cucumber, tobacco and tomato were preferred, the predatory bug seems to occupy a wide plant host range for oviposition. Despite being polyphagous, the predatory bug is not likely going to disrupt the efficiency of some other natural enemies in a biological control program. Investigating the plant-feeding habit of the predator showed that, D. tamaninii preferred leaves to cucumber fruits, a fact that leads to the conclusion that the potential damage to cucumber fruits by the phytophagous predator remains low.
In the greenhouse experiments, it was found that the release of 2 D. tamaninii adults per plant was sufficient to achieve up to 90% reduction in A. gossypii population, when the predator was released 1 week after infestation with the aphid. Nevertheless, it is speculated that an earlier release of D. tamaninii would be more effective in the biological control of A. gossypii. In conclusion, D. tamaninii exhibited under laboratory as well as greenhouse conditions many features, which make the predatory bug a very promising natural enemy to be used in framework of a biological control program of the melon aphid on cucumber.},

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