Evaluation of potential Orius insidiosus banker plants for western flower thripsbiocontrol in ornamental crops
Abstract: Successful use of biological control agents for control of western flower thrips(Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)) (WFT) has been documented in greenhouse vegetables,such as sweet peppers, but thus far has provided inconsistent results for ornamentals. Theobjective of this study was to identify an optimal banker plant (BP) species to improve theperformance of the biological control agent – Orius insidiosus (Say), against WFT in greenhouseornamental crops. Potential BP were placed into cages and exposed to 5 female (<1w)O. insidiosus for 48h; the number of eggs and oviposition location was recorded. Developmentand survival was recorded by placing (<24h) nymphs into cages with a cutting from a floweringBP plant species. Nymphs were observed until the adult stage was reached or the nymph died.Assessments of oviposition indicated that all plants were acceptable for O. insidiosus toreproduce. Based upon nymphal development and survival, castor bean and gerbera may besuitable BPs respectively; sunflower and marigold would not be acceptable BPs.