Worldwide, the developing industry of cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in greenhouses is threatened by damage from sucking pests, especially aphids. Among these, the melon aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is the most serious. We tested the effect of two cucumber cultivars (‘Royal’and‘Storm’) and three vermicompost concentrations (0 [control], 20, and 30%) in field soil on the development and fecundity rates of A. gossypii, by using a randomized complete block design with four replicates as a factorial experiment. The developmental times of nymphs reared on plants grown into the three vermicompost concentrations ranged from 5.5 (0%) to 8.7 (30%) d (on Storm) and from 4.3 (0%) to 7 (30%) d (on Royal). The developmental time of melon aphid's nymphs was greatest on plants grown in the culture medium with 30% vermicompost rate and least on plants reared in the soil without vermicompost. The intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm) of A. gossypii ranged from 0.204 d-1 on plants grown in the soil amended with 30% vermicompost rate (on Storm seedlings) to 0.458 d-1 on plants grown in the soil without vermicompost (on Royal seedlings). Accordingly, our findings confirm that a combination of a low level of vermicompost and a partially resistant cucumber cultivar might play an important role in managing this aphid on cucumbers in greenhouses.
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Vol. 104 • No. 4