, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 137-149

Comparison of life table parameters for Maconellicoccus hirsutus, Anagyrus kamali, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and Scymnus coccivora

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Abstract

The pink mealybug Maconellicoccushirsutus Green (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) wasrecently introduced to Trinidad. M.hirsutus almost immediately attained peststatus and despite the implementation ofcultural and chemical control measures, thepopulation increased above the economic injurylevel. Three natural enemies, Anagyruskamali Moursi (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) and Scymnus coccivoraAyyar (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were introduced.Life fecundity tables were constructed for thepest-natural enemies complex in the hope ofunderstanding the interaction of each naturalenemy with its host, and, in so doing, form acomparative approach to assessing theeffectiveness of each natural enemy. Thestudies were carried out in the laboratory at27.0 ± 3.0 °C and 58.0 ± 3.0%RH, which is within the average field conditions in Trinidad.The net reproductive rates (Ro), theinnate capacity for increase (rm) and thefinite rate of increase (λ) were found to behigher for the natural enemies compared to thepest. The doubling time for M. hirsutuswas 8.83 days, while A. kamali, C.montrouzieri and S. coccivora populationsdoubled in 2.09, 5.13 and 4.45 daysrespectively. The significantly higherpopulation parameters of the natural enemies,coupled with their shorter doubling times, meanthat their populations can grow faster and thusexert a controlling effect on pest numbers.