Assessing the use of Lobularia maritima as an insectary plant for the conservation of Orius majusculus and biological control of Frankliniella occidentalis
Abstract: Flowering plants are used to conserve natural enemies in the field. However these plants may also sustain pest populations and little is known on the control of those pests so that they do not represent a major risk to the crop. Here, we evaluate the fecundity and longevity of the predatory bug Orius majusculus (Reuter) on the commonly used insectary plant Alyssum (Lobularia maritima L.) with and without prey (Ephestia kuehniella eggs), and compare these results with the fecundity and longevity obtained with green bean pods, used as a control. Additionally, we study the control of a widespread pests, the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), exerted by O. majusculus on Alyssum. The results obtained in this study indicate that Alyssum can provide resource subsidies for O. majusculus during times of prey scarcity and that the control of thrips could be possible on this plant. This opens the door to alyssum for being selected as an insectary plant for Orius spp. conservation.