What happens to the predator Atheta coriaria when inundatively released in the fieldfor biological control of cabbage root fly?
Abstract: The predatory staphylinid beetle, Atheta coriaria, can be reared easily and cheaply onturkey feed. This creates opportunities for inundative release of the predator at relatively low costfor biological control of pests with ground-dwelling life stages. A. coriaria was mass-releasedinto a commercial cauliflower crop, in a field trial to investigate its potential for biological controlof cabbage root fly (CRF) (Delia radicum). Significantly fewer dead plants due to CRF damageand higher root weights of surviving plants were recorded in plots treated with A. coriaria or withchlorpyrifos or spinosad than in untreated control plots. If use of A. coriaria for biological controlof CRF is developed for commercial uptake, its potential interactions with other immigrant andresident beetles should be investigated. Initial data on beetle activity in the trial field wascollected and these preliminary results are discussed.