Role of the aphid species and their feeding locations in parasitization behavior of Aphelinus abdominalis, a parasitoid of the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri
Reddy, Gadi V. P.
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Aphid species feeding on lettuce occupy distinct feeding sites: the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri prefers to feed on heart leaves, whereas the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae feeds only on outer leaves. The aphid parasitoid Aphelinus abdominalis, known to be able to regulate M. euphorbiae on many crops, has recently been indicated as a promising biocontrol candidate also for use against N. ribisnigri, a major pest of lettuce. This study therefore examined A. abdominalis parasitization preference between N. ribisnigri and M. euphorbiae and its ability to parasitize aphids feeding on different parts of lettuce plants. In addition, life history traits of A. abdominalis on these aphid species were investigated. In nochoice laboratory experiments on leaf discs and 24 h exposure, A. abdominalis successfully parasitized 54% and 60% of the offered N. ribisnigri and M. euphorbiae, respectively, with no significant difference. In the corresponding choice experiment, however, A. abdominalis had a tendency for a significantly higher preference for M. euphorbiae (38%) compared to N. ribisnigri (30%). Growth chamber experiments on whole plants demonstrated that A. abdominalis was able to parasitize aphids, regardless of their feeding locations on lettuce plants. However, aphid feeding behavior had a significant effect on the parasitization rate. A. abdominalis parasitized significantly higher percentages of M. euphorbiae or N. ribisnigri when aphids were exposed separately to parasitoids on whole lettuce plants as compared with N. ribisnigri exposed only on heart leaf. A significant preference of A. abdominalis for M. euphorbiae compared to N. ribisnigri was also observed in the growth chamber choice experiment. A high percentage of adult emergence (> 84%) and female-biased sex ratio (> 83%) were found irrespective of the aphid species.
Shrestha, Govinda, Henrik Skovgard, Gadi V. P. Reddy, Tove Steenberg, and Annie Enkegaard. "Role of the aphid species and their feeding locations in parasitization behavior of Aphelinus abdominalis, a parasitoid of the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri." PLOS ONE 12, no. 8 (August 2017). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184080.