Molecular identification and feeding ecology of arthropod generalist predators present in Mediterranean lettuce crops
Gómez Polo, Priscila
Agustí Abella, Núria
Universitat de Lleida. Departament de Producció Vegetal i Ciència Forestal
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The aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) are two of the main pests in Mediterranean lettuce crops. The general goal of this Doctoral Thesis is to deepen in the study of the trophic interactions present in Mediterranean
lettuce crops, in order to develop, apply and improve conservation biological control (CBC) programs using molecular techniques. Results showed the most abundant predator were Orius laevigatus, O. majusculus and O. niger (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), the hoverflies Eupeodes corollae, Episyrphus balteatus and Sphaerophoria scripta/S. rueppellii (Diptera: Syrphidae), the coccinelid Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera : Coccidellidae) and spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae, Thomosidae). Moreover, coccinellids were only found in spring, syrphids mainly in spring, but also in summer and Orius were only found in summer. With these abundances, the coccinellids were the most efficient predators of N. ribisnigri in spring; syrphids were the most efficient predators of F. occidentalis in spring; and Orius were the most efficient control agents of F. occidentalis in summer. In conclusion, molecular analysis of predation has allowed the characterization of the trophic links present in Mediterranean lettuce crops, which is of a great importance in order to develop CBC programs in those crops.
- Tesis Doctorals