Can Insectary Plants Enhance the Presence of Natural Enemies of the Green Peach Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Mediterranean Peach Orchards?

Yahana Aparicio, Jordi Riudavets, Rosa Gabarra, Nuria Agustí, Neus Rodríguez-Gasol, Georgina Alins, Anabel Blasco-Moreno, Judit Arnó

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Conservation biological control could be an alternative to insecticides for the management of the aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer). To develop sustainable strategies for M. persicae control in peach orchards in the Mediterranean, a 2-yr field experiment was conducted to identify the key predators of the aphid; to determine whether the proximity of insectary plants boost natural enemies of M. persicae in comparison to the resident vegetation; and whether selected insectary plants enhance natural enemy populations in the margins of peach orchards. Aphidoletes aphidimyza Rondani (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and Episyrphus balteatus De Geer (Diptera: Syrphidae) were the most abundant predators found among sentinel aphid colonies, accounting for 57% and 26%, respectively. Samplings during 2015 yielded twice as many hoverflies in M. persicae sentinel plants close to the insectary plants as those close to the resident vegetation. The abundance of other natural enemies in sentinel plants, depending on their proximity to the insectary plants, was not significantly different in either of the 2 yr. Hoverflies hovered more often over the insectary plants than over the resident vegetation and landed significantly more often on Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv., Moricandia arvensis (L.) DC., and Sinapis alba L. (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) than on Achillea millefollium L. (Asterales: Compositae). Parasitoids were significantly more abundant in L. maritima and A. millefollium. The vicinity of selected insectary plants to peach orchards could improve the presence of hoverflies, which might benefit the biological control of M. persicae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-793
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2021


  • agroecological infrastructure
  • conservation biological control
  • insectary plant
  • parasitoid
  • predator


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