ASSESSMENT OF APHID ECOLOGY IN VEGETABLE SYSTEMS AND POTENTIAL FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS
Aphids are recognised worldwide as economically important pests in vegetable production systems. Synthetic pesticides are used against aphids and pose a great risk to the environment, human health and beneficial biodiversity. Aphid species, their natural enemies, their vegetable and weed hosts were poorly documented in Benin. A study was undertaken at 31 vegetable production sites across Benin to identify the aphid species, their host plants, and their natural enemies. The level of aphid infestation and damage to vegetables were also recorded. 17 out of 31 vegetable species surveyed were commonly infested and damaged by aphids. Aphis gossypii, Aphis craccivora and Lipaphis erysimi were recorded on a wide range of vegetable species, while Myzus persicae were recorded on Brassica rapa and Solanum macrocarpon only. 44 weeds where recorded associated with vegetables and 25 where infested with aphids. Commelina benghalensis, Trianthema portulacastrum and Euphorbia hirta were the weeds heavily infested. The most commonly encountered aphid predators where Cheilomenes propinqua, Cheilomenes sulphurea and Ischiodon aegyptius. The widely distributed aphid parasitoid Lysiphlebus testaceipes was often found attacking A. gossypii and A. craccivora. Further studies will be carried out to assess the potential of these natural enemies in an integrated pest management strategy against aphids.
May-Guri, S., Godonou, I., Leclercq, S., Yoto, G.T. and James, B. (2011). ASSESSMENT OF APHID ECOLOGY IN VEGETABLE SYSTEMS AND POTENTIAL FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS. Acta Hortic. 911, 227-230
aphids, vegetable and weed hosts, natural enemies, Benin