Does mating disruption of Planococcus ficus and Lobesia botrana affect the diversity, abundance and composition of natural enemies in Israeli vineyards?
Abstract BACKGROUND Mating disruption (MD) employs high doses of a pest's synthetic sex pheromone in agricultural plots, to interfere with its reproduction. MD is assumed to have few behavioral effects on non‐target arthropods, because sex pheromones are highly species‐specific and non‐toxic. Nevertheless, some natural enemies use their host's sex pheromones as foraging cues, and thus may be attracted to MD plots. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared parasitoid and spider assemblages in paired plots in five Israeli vineyards during 2015. One plot was MD‐treated against two key pests, Lobesia botrana (Denis & SchiffermUller) and Planococcus ficus (Signoret). Both plots were insecticide‐treated as needed. Natural enemies were suction‐sampled and collected from pheromone‐baited monitoring traps. RESULTS The total abundance, species diversity and species composition of most natural enemies were unaffected by MD. An important exception involved P. ficus ' main parasitoid, Anagyrus sp. nr. pseudococci (Girault). Anagyrus sp. nr. pseudococci females were mainly captured in control plots, while male captures were low and not influenced by MD. Parasitized P. ficus occurred only in MD plots. CONCLUSION Non‐target effects of MD involved mostly A . sp. nr. pseudococci females and hardly affected other natural enemies. These findings support the use of MD as an environmentally friendly pest management strategy. ⓒ 2018 Society of Chemical Industry
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