The lettuce aphid, Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley), is an economically important pest of lettuce worldwide. Little documentation exists for the control efficacy of aphid parasitoids against N. ribisnigri. This laboratory study evaluated three commercially available parasitoid species: Aphidius colemani (Viereck), Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson), and Aphelinus abdominalis (Dalman) for their mortality impact on N. ribisnigri. The green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) was included as a reference aphid. The study showed that A. abdominalis successfully parasitized 39 and 13% of the offered N. ribisnigri and M. persicae, respectively, within a 24-h exposure period. In contrast, none of the lettuce aphids exposed to Ap. colemani or L. testaceipes were successfully parasitized, whereas 60 and 3.5% of M. persicae, respectively, were successfully parasitized within a 6-h exposure period. Lettuce aphid mortality due to incomplete parasitization was 26 and 31% when exposed to Ap. colemani and L. testaceipes, respectively, with corresponding values for M. persicae being 5 and 10%, respectively. Mortality as a result of incomplete parasitization when aphids were exposed to A. abdominalis was low for both aphid species. The total mortality inflicted by A. abdominalis within a 24-h exposure period was 51% for the lettuce aphids and significantly less (19%) for green peach aphids. In contrast, Ap. colemani inflicted a higher mortality in M. persicae (65%) compared with N. ribisnigri (26%) within a 6-h exposure period. L. testaceipes caused a greater mortality in N. ribisnigri as compared with M. persicae. This study concludes that A. abdominalis has the potential to be used against N. ribisnigri in inoculative biocontrol programs as compared with the other parasitoid species based on successful parasitization.
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Vol. 43 • No. 6