Production and Use of Heteroptera Predators for the Biological Control of Eucalyptus Pests in Brazil
MetadataShow full item record
The Asopinae predators of Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) pests in Brazil include Brontocoris tabidus, Podisus distinctus, Podisus nigrispinus, and Supputius cincticeps (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). These insects feed on the larvae and pupae of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera defoliators. Asopinae predators are reared in the laboratory in wooden cages with wood screens on the upper and lateral sides and the front closed with a glass door, whereas, in the field they are raised in organza bags with branches of Eucalyptus spp. or Psidium guajava (Myrtaceae). An alternative prey, such as Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) pupae and Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae), or Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) larvae, or the natural prey Anticarsia gemmatalis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and Thyrinteina arnobia and Thyrinteina leucocerae (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) caterpillars may be provided to the nymphs of predators in cages and/or rearing bags. Vallourec & Mannesmann Forest Ltda. has two laboratories to mass rear M. domestica to produce annually 300,000 individuals of P nigrispinus which are released with or without pests in the field. In the first case, predators are released after detection of the pest by a monitoring process, which is the first major step in integrated pest management (IPM). This predator is efficient when the pest population level is below the economic injury level, i.e., nine caterpillars/100 leaves of Eucalyptus spp. Releasing are made in outbreaks every 10 m and the population increase of this predator can control pests. Podisus nigrispinus usually prey on 4-5 first and second instars larvae or 2-3 fourth and fifth instar caterpillars per day. Asopinae predators are reared and released in the field to control pests in the Eucalyptus spp. plantations of the Vallourec & Mannesmann Forest Ltda. in Brazil.