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Potential of variegated lady beetle Hippodamia variegata in management of invasive tomato potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli

Sarkar, S.C., Milroy, S.P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3889-7058 and Xu, W. (2022) Potential of variegated lady beetle Hippodamia variegata in management of invasive tomato potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. Pest Management Science . Early View.

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The tomato potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) is a new invasive pest in Western Australia, which may disperse across the whole of Australia within a few years and cause significant economic losses. Chemical control is the most widely used approach to manage B. cockerelli, but insect resistance, chemical residue and effects on non-target species have become an increasing concerned. Therefore, in this study, the biocontrol potential of variegated lady beetle, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) was investigated. The impact of utilizing B. cockerelli as a food source on the predator's development and reproduction was assessed by formulating age-stage, two sex life tables. The predatory potential of H. variegata on B. cockerelli nymphs was assessed in a closed arena and the effects of releasing H. variegata for the control of B. cockerelli were then evaluated.


H. variegata could successfully develop and oviposit when feeding on B. cockerelli. However, both survival and the rate of development were higher for H. variegata feeding on Myzus persicae (Sulzer) than B. cockerelli or a mixed population of B. cockerelli and M. persicae. A type II functional response was observed for H. variegata. In the greenhouse, the releases of H. variegata larvae reduced the number of B. cockerelli nymphs by up to 66% and adults by up to 59%, which positively influenced the plant chlorophyll content and biomass.


This study demonstrated the potential of the resident generalist predator, H. variegata as a biocontrol agent for the invasive pest, B. cockerelli, which may help improving current management strategies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Food Futures Institute
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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