, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 809–817 | Cite as

Release rate for a pre-plant application of Nesidiocoris tenuis for Bemisia tabaci control in tomato



Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Het.: Miridae) is widely used as a biological control agent of whiteflies and other pests in greenhouse-grown tomatoes. It is typically released augmentatively some weeks after transplanting and needs several weeks to establish. Releasing N. tenuis prior to transplanting could accelerate its establishment. However, timing for releases could affect biological control and require changes in release rates of the predator. Because N. tenuis is also phytophagous it must be released at a rate which provides the best equilibrium between adequate biological control of Bemisia tabaci Genn. and acceptable injury to the crop. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate different release rates for releasing N. tenuis prior to transplanting for maximizing control capacity and minimizing injury to crop. The study was carried out in two subsequent trials in which different release rates were evaluated under a worst case scenario of rapid immigration of the pest into a tomato greenhouse. In the first experiment (winter experiment), four treatments were compared: (1) B. tabaci (0 N. tenuis/plant), (2) B. tabaci + 0.5 N. tenuis/plant, (3) B. tabaci + 1 N. tenuis/plant and (4) B. tabaci + 2 N. tenuis/plant. In the second experiment (summer experiment), the treatments were: (1) B. tabaci (0 N. tenuis/plant), (2) B. tabaci + 0.5 N. tenuis/plant and (3) B. tabaci + 1 N. tenuis/plant. All the evaluated rates significantly reduced the population of whitefly and gave adequate control of the pest. However, only 0.5 N. tenuis/plant did not increase crop damage compared to the treatment with no N. tenuis.


Tomato Miridae Biological control Whitefly Release rate Plant propagator 



The authors thank David A. Gillespie (Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada) and Markus Knapp (R&D Koppert BV, The Netherlands) for reviewing the manuscript.


  1. Abbott WA (1925) A method to computing the effectiveness of an insecticide. J Econ Entomol 18:265–267Google Scholar
  2. Alomar O, Albajes R (1996) Greenhouse whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) predation and tomato fruit injury by the zoophytophagous predator Dicyphus tamaninii (Heteroptera: Miridae). In: Alomar O, Wiedenmann RN (eds) Zoophytophagous Heteroptera: implications for life history and integrated pest management. Entomological Society of America, Lanham, USA, pp 155–177Google Scholar
  3. Arnó J, Castañé C, Riudavets J, Gabarra R (2010) Risk of damage to tomato crops by generalist zoophytophagous predator Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae). Bull Entomol Res 100:105–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calvo J, Urbaneja A (2004) Nesidiocoris tenuis un aliado para el control biológico de mosca blanca. Horticultura Internacional 44:20–25Google Scholar
  5. Calvo FJ, Bolckmans K, Belda JE (2009) Development of a biological control-based IPM method for Bemisia tabaci for protected sweet pepper crops. Entomol Exp Appl 133:9–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castañé C, Alomar O, Riudavets J (2003) Potential risk of damage to zucchinis caused by mirid bugs. IOBC/WPRS Bull 26:135–138Google Scholar
  7. Castañé C, Arnó J, Gabarra R, Alomar O (2011) Plant damage to vegetable crops by zoophytophagous mirid predators. Biol Control 59:22–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crawley MJ (2002) Statistical computing. An introduction to data analysis using S-plus. Wiley & Sons Press, Chichester, UKGoogle Scholar
  9. Crowder D (2007) Impact of release rates on the effectiveness of augmentative biological control agents. J Insect Sci 7:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. El-Dessouki SA, El-Kifl AH, Helal HA (1976) Life cycle, host plants and symptoms of damage of the tomato bug, Nesidiocoris tenuis Reut. (Heteroptera: Miridae), in Egypt. J Plant Dis Prot 83(4):204–220Google Scholar
  11. Franco K, Jauset A, Castañé C (2011) Monogamy and polygamy in two species of mirid bugs: a functional-based approach. J Insect Physiol 57:307–315PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gillespie DR, McGregor RR (2000) The functions of plant feeding in the omnivorous predator Dicyphus hesperus: water places limits on predation. Ecol Entomol 25:380–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gillespie DR, McGregor RR, Sánchez JA (2007) Dicyphus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) as a success story in development of endemic natural enemies as biological control agents. In: Vincent CM, Goettel M, Lazarovits G (eds) Case studies in biological control: a global perspective. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp 128–135Google Scholar
  14. Goula M, Alomar O (1994) Míridos (Heteroptera: Miridae) de interés en el control integrado de plagas en tomate. Guía para su identificación. Bol Sanid Veg Plagas 20:131–143Google Scholar
  15. Lenfant C, Ridray G, Schoen L (2000) Biopropagation of Macrolophus caliginosus (Wagner) for a quicker establishment in southern tomato greenhouses. IOBC/WPRS Bull 23(1):247–252Google Scholar
  16. Malausa JC, Henao B (1988) First observations in France of Cyrtopeltis (Nesidiocoris) tenuis Reuter, 1895 (Het. Miridae). Nouv Rev Entomol 5:180Google Scholar
  17. Messelink GJ, van Maanen R, van Steenpaal SEF, Janssen A (2008) Biological control of thrips and whiteflies by a shared predator: two pests are better than one. Biol Control 44:372–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sánchez JA (2008) Zoophytophagy in the plantbug Nesidiocoris tenuis. Agric For Entomol 10:75–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sánchez JA (2009) Density thresholds for Nesidiocoris tenuis (Heteroptera: Miridae) in tomato crops. Biol Control 51:493–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sánchez JA, Lacasa A (2008) Impact of the zoophytophagous plant bug Nesidiocoris tenuis (Heteroptera: Miridae) on tomato yield. J Econ Entomol 101(6):1864–1870PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sánchez JA, Martinez-Cascales JI, Lacasa A (2003) Abundance and wild host plants of predator mirids (Heteroptera: Miridae) in horticultural crops in the Southeast of Spain. IOBC/WPRS Bull 26:147–151Google Scholar
  22. Tavella L, Goula M (2001) Dicyphini collected in horticultural areas of northwestern Italy (Heteroptera Miridae). Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura 33:93–102Google Scholar
  23. Urbaneja A, Tapia G, Fernández E, Sánchez E, Contreras J, Gallego A, Bielza P (2003) Influence of the prey on the biology of Nesidiocoris tenuis (Hem.: Miridae). IOBC/WPRS Bull 26:159Google Scholar
  24. Urbaneja A, Tapia G, Stansly PA (2005) Influence of host plant and prey availability on the developmental time and survival of Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Het.: Miridae). Biocontrol Sci Technol 15:513–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Urbaneja A, Montón H, Mollá O (2009) Suitability of the tomato borer Tuta absoluta as prey for Macrolophus caliginosus and Nesidiocoris tenuis. J Appl Entomol 133:292–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.R & D DepartmentKoppert España S.L.La MojoneraSpain
  2. 2.R & D DepartmentKoppert B.V.Berkel en RodenrijsThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations