Relationship of plants and their enemies is parallel since ages. Pests including pathogens and insects etc. harm agricultural commodities and horticultural plants both. Aphids are one of the devastating pests of crops including wheat and floral plants as well. Aphids are also known as plant lice and they have been increasing in number devastatingly for last decade and had attained status of regular pest in Pakistan1.
Scope of floriculture has amplified in Pakistan and many personals are interested to adopt this field as a career. Flowers are being used in medicines and for ornamentation in gardens and landscapes because of their captivating scenery. Their significance can’t be denied regarding pollination as insects attracts towards them because of eye catching colors and astonishing outlooks. Insect pests including aphids are threatening for plants because they can reduce quality and commercial value of flowers and whole plant as well. They reproduce quickly because of parthenogenesis and both nymphs and adults of aphids are deleterious because they suck the cell sap robustly by bursting the plant parts and ultimately cause upto 20-40% losses2.
Scientists are focusing on natural enemies (Coccinellids/lady bird beetles) to control this pest3. They are reported as efficient predators against different aphids in different agro ecosystems; particularly Europe and Asia4,5. Aphids inhibit reproduction and development of seven-spot ladybird beetel; Coccinella septempunctata11. It was also reported that the prey aphids, affect the fecundity as well as longevity of the predator13–15. Therefore; designed an experiment to assess the effect of aphids on the foraging behavior of C. septempunctata and to evaluate aphid species affecting the predator, type of variations occurs from grub emergence to maturation of the predator and effectiveness of predator in sustainability of the program.
In this research; Coccineella septempunctata was used against cosmos aphid (Aphis spiraecola, rose aphid (Macrosiphum rosea), gul e ashrafi aphid (Aphis fabae), kaner aphid (Aphis nerii), chandni aphid (Sitobion avenae), dahlia aphid (Myzus persicae) and annual chrysanthemum aphid (Macrosiphoniella sanborni). Scientists noted that the grub of C. septempunctata consumed 283.8±9.04 M. rosea, 487.7±12.6 M. sanborni, 432.75±16.02 A. spiraecola, 478.2±8.07 A. fabae, 552.3±9.04 M. persicae, 142±1.32 A. nerii and 498.5±13.09 S. avenae in its whole larval life. The M. persicae and M. rosea consuming grubs showed 100% adult emergence while, M. sanborni, A. spiraecola, A. fabae and S. avenae showed 96.58, 89.02, 94.78 and 75.45% adult emergence, respectively. Conclusively; scientists found C. septempunctata as efficient predator against A. spiraecola, M. rosea, A. fabae, S. avenae, M. persicae and M. sanborni except A. nerii. However, thorough investigation is to search alternate predator to control A. nerii in floriculture.
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17 November, 2019