Outbreaks of the Nearctic leafhopper Erasmoneura vulnerata represent a threat to vinegrowers in Southern Europe, in particular in North-eastern Italy. The pest outbreaks are frequent in organic vineyards because insecticides labeled for organic viticulture show limited effectiveness towards leafhoppers. On the other hand, the naturally occurring predators and parasitoids of E. vulnerata in vineyards are often not able to keep leafhopper densities at acceptable levels for vine-growers. In this study, we evaluated the potential of two generalist, commercially available predators, Chrysoperla carnea and Orius majusculus, in suppressing E. vulnerata. Laboratory and semi-field experiments were carried out to evaluate both species’ predation capacity on E. vulnerata nymphs. The experiments were conducted on grapevine leaves inside Petri dishes (laboratory) and on potted and caged grapevines (semi-field); in both experiments, the leaves or potted plants were infested with E. vulnerata nymphs prior to predator releases. Both predator species exhibited a remarkable voracity and significantly reduced leafhopper densities in laboratory and semi-field experiments. Therefore, field studies were carried out over two growing seasons in two vineyards. We released 4 O. majusculus adults and 30 C. carnea larvae per m2 of canopy. Predator releases in vineyards reduced leafhopper densities by about 30% compared to the control plots. Results obtained in this study showed that the two predators have a potential to suppress the pest density, but more research is required to define appropriate predator-prey release ratios and release timing. Studies on intraguild interactions and competition with naturally occurring predators are also suggested.

Evaluating the impact of two generalist predators on the leafhopper Erasmoneura vulnerata population density

Prazaru S. C.;Zanettin G.;Pozzebon A.;Tirello P.;Scaccini D.;Duso C.
2021

Abstract

Outbreaks of the Nearctic leafhopper Erasmoneura vulnerata represent a threat to vinegrowers in Southern Europe, in particular in North-eastern Italy. The pest outbreaks are frequent in organic vineyards because insecticides labeled for organic viticulture show limited effectiveness towards leafhoppers. On the other hand, the naturally occurring predators and parasitoids of E. vulnerata in vineyards are often not able to keep leafhopper densities at acceptable levels for vine-growers. In this study, we evaluated the potential of two generalist, commercially available predators, Chrysoperla carnea and Orius majusculus, in suppressing E. vulnerata. Laboratory and semi-field experiments were carried out to evaluate both species’ predation capacity on E. vulnerata nymphs. The experiments were conducted on grapevine leaves inside Petri dishes (laboratory) and on potted and caged grapevines (semi-field); in both experiments, the leaves or potted plants were infested with E. vulnerata nymphs prior to predator releases. Both predator species exhibited a remarkable voracity and significantly reduced leafhopper densities in laboratory and semi-field experiments. Therefore, field studies were carried out over two growing seasons in two vineyards. We released 4 O. majusculus adults and 30 C. carnea larvae per m2 of canopy. Predator releases in vineyards reduced leafhopper densities by about 30% compared to the control plots. Results obtained in this study showed that the two predators have a potential to suppress the pest density, but more research is required to define appropriate predator-prey release ratios and release timing. Studies on intraguild interactions and competition with naturally occurring predators are also suggested.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3400808
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