0154 Pollen and nectar availability: Influence on the omnivorous predator Orius tristicolor and indirect influence on spider mite and western flower thrips population dynamics

Sunday, November 16, 2008: 3:30 PM
Room A3, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Ramy Colfer , Mission Organics, Salinas, CA
Jay A. Rosenheim , Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Cynthia L. Hsu , Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY
Many natural enemies utilize plant resources in agricultural systems. Determining how important plant resources, such as pollen and nectar, are to pest management has been debated – some systems have found them to be very important and others less important. The minute pirate bug (Orius) is both an important and ubiquitous predator in many agricultural systems and it has been shown to utilize many plant resources. Here, we present field research that compares Orius nymph survivorship and growth when given combinations of pollen, artificial nectar, and spider mites. Also, the experiment was designed to evaluate how pollen and nectar availability influenced spider mite suppression by Orius. We also present a long-term field experiment that examines the individual and combined effects that pollen and nectar availability have on the abundance of Orius and how these alternative foods indirectly influence spider mite and western flower thrips population dynamics. Large-scale use of insectary strips in commercial organic farms that provide natural enemies with pollen and nectar sources are also discussed.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.33211