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1 June 2014 Inventory and Assessment of Foliar Natural Enemies of the Soybean Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in South Dakota
Louis S. Hesler
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Soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a major pest of soybean in northern production regions of North America, and insecticides have been the primary management approach while alternative methods are developed. Knowledge of arthropod natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is critical for developing biological control as a management tool. Soybean is a major field crop in South Dakota, but information about its natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is lacking. Thus, this study was conducted in field plots in eastern South Dakota during July and August of 2004 and 2005 to characterize foliar-dwelling, arthropod natural enemies of soybean aphid, and it used exclusion techniques to determine impact of natural enemies and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on soybean aphid densities. In open field plots, weekly soybean aphid densities reached a plateau of several hundred aphids per plant in 2004, and peaked at roughly 400 aphids per plant in 2005. Despite these densities, a relatively high frequency of aphid-infested plants lacked arthropod natural enemies. Lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were most abundant, peaking at 90 and 52% of all natural enemies sampled in respective years, and Harmonia axyridis Pallas was the most abundant lady beetle. Green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) were abundant in 2005, due mainly to large numbers of their eggs. Abundances of arachnids and coccinellid larvae correlated with soybean aphid densities each year, and chrysopid egg abundance was correlated with aphid density in 2005. Three-week cage treatments of artificially infested soybean plants in 2004 showed that noncaged plants had fewer soybean aphids than caged plants, but abundance of soybean aphid did not differ among open cages and ones that provided partial or total exclusion of natural enemies. In 2005, plants within open cages had fewer soybean aphids than those within cages that excluded natural enemies, and aphid density on open-cage plants did not differ from that on noncaged plants and those accessible by small predators. In a separate 3-yr experiment, exclusion of ants from soybean plants did not lead to differences in soybean aphid density compared with ant-accessible plants. Overall, these results suggest that the soybean aphid natural enemy guild is unsaturated and could be enhanced to improve biological control of soybean aphid in South Dakota.

Louis S. Hesler "Inventory and Assessment of Foliar Natural Enemies of the Soybean Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in South Dakota," Environmental Entomology 43(3), 577-588, (1 June 2014).
Received: 25 July 2013; Accepted: 14 March 2014; Published: 1 June 2014

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ant-aphid association
Aphis glycines
exclusion cage
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