Evaluating potential olive orchard sugar food sources for the olive fly parasitoid Psyttalia concolor

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Furtado, C. ; Belo, A. F. ; Nunes, F. M. ; Ganhão, E. ; Müller, Carsten Theodor ; Torres, L. ; Rei, F. T. (2016)

Olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a major olive pest in the Mediterranean basin where increasing insecticide resistance has enhanced damage and necessitates more reliance on other control strategies, such as biological control. Provision of floral resources has been reported to improve the effectiveness of natural enemies. Here, we tested the effect of six plant nectars and two honeydew sources on the survival of Psyttalia concolor (Szépligeti) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid wasp used in the biological control of olive fruit fly. Our results showed a positive effect on survival associated with nectars of Anchusa azurea Mill., Rosmarinus officinalis L., Lavatera cretica L. and Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi, while honeydew proved to be a valuable alternative food source. When offering flowers directly to insects, Anchusa azurea, Lavatera cretica, and Foeniculum vulgare L. were found to be the most beneficial species, indicating also that P. concolor feeds predominantly on shallow corollas.
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