Enhancing establishment of Macrolophus pygmaeus in tomato

Published on
March 12, 2014

Renata van Holstein-Saj and Gerben Messelink

The establishment of Macrolophus pygmaeus in a tomato crop is often poor during winter and spring when prey densities are low. In this study we evaluated the effects of foods prays on the population dynamics of Macrolophus. Weekly applications of Ephestia eggs were compared with a 5 times higher dose of Artemia cysts, which is a much cheaper food source. This food source resulted in 3 times higher predator densities compared to the Ephestia treatment. The densities increased to more than 100 per plant in a period of 16 weeks. The predatory bugs remarkebly aggregated on the plants with food and were hardly present in the rows where no food was applied. It is therefore important to develop methods that optimize the distribution of Macrolophus in a crop.

Financer is the PT.