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Psyche
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 503543, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/503543
Research Article

Effect of Plant Characteristics and Within-Plant Distribution of Prey on Colonization Efficiency of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) Adults

Department of Entomology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

Received 2 October 2011; Accepted 20 December 2011

Academic Editor: Martin H. Villet

Copyright © 2012 Folukemi Adedipe and Yong-Lak Park. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has been widely used in classical and inundative biological control of mealybugs, including the long-tailed mealybug, Pseudococcus longispinus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). This study was conducted to investigate colonization and establishment efficiency of C. montrouzieri to manage P. longispinus on three different ornamental plant species (Ficus elastica, Lilium longiflorum, and Dieffenbachia seguine). Within-plant distribution pattern of P. longispinus and the colonization ecology of adult C. montrouzieri were investigated. Significantly more P. longispinus were found on the upper parts of the plants regardless of plant species, and C. montrouzieri adults discovered P. longispinus significantly faster when they were released on the top of the plants than on the bottom. Choice tests revealed that C. montrouzieri adults preferred smaller P. longispinus nymphs. The implications for utilization of C. montrouzieri for biological control of mealybugs on various ornamental plants are discussed.