Evaluation of seven plant species/cultivars for their suitability as banker plants for Orius insidiosus (Say)
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Marigold (cv. Lemon Gem), castor bean, ornamental pepper (cv. Black Pearl and Purple Flash), gerbera daisy (cv. Festival), feverfew, and sunflower (cv. Choco Sun) were evaluated for their suitability as banker plants (BP) for Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) in commercial greenhouses. Oviposition, egg hatch, nymphal development to adulthood, and population increase were quantified in laboratory trials. Assessments of oviposition and egg hatch indicated that all plants tested were equally accepted by O. insidiosus. Nymphal development to adulthood and survival tests indicated that gerbera may be a suitable BP as survival was the highest (58.1 %), whereas marigold would not be an acceptable BP as only 10.7 % of nymphs survived to adulthood. Nymphal development time differed by only one day among all plants. In greenhouse cage experiments, Purple Flash pepper supported the greatest population growth over a ten week period. Based on the combined results from all tests, Purple Flash pepper appears to have the greatest potential as a BP species for O. insidiosus.
KeywordsOrius insidiosus Hemiptera Anthocoridae Frankliniella occidentalis Banker plant Biological control
This work was conducted at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a not for profit organization dedicated to horticultural science and innovation, located in Canada’s Niagara Region. We thank Biobest Canada Ltd. for supply of O. insidiosus, Angela Brommit, Rebecca Eerkes, Erik Glemser, and Andrew McFarlane for technical support. This research was funded through the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Research Program and a MITACS grant sponsored by Eco Habitat Agri-Services to M.O.W.
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