Development of an integrated pest management system for vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus (Signoret), in vineyards in the Western Cape Province, South Africa

Walton, Vaughn M. (Vaughn Martin) (2003-03)

Dissertation (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A survey was conducted in the Western Cape Province during the 1999/2000 and 2000/2001 seasons on mealybugs occurring in vineyards. P/anococcus ficus (Signoret) was the dominant mealybug in vineyards during this time. During this study P. ficus was recorded for the first time on roots of grapevines, which has far reaching implications for the control of this important vine leafroll virus vector as control actions were focused on above ground control. Other mealybugs presently recorded in local vineyards included Pseudococcus /ongispinus (Targioni) and Ferrisia ma/vastra (McDaniel). Pseudococcus viburni (Maskell) and Ps. so/ani Ferris were found on weeds in vineyards. Natural enemies of P. ficus recorded most frequently were species of Nephus predatory beetles, and the parasitaids Coccidoxenoides peregrinus (Timberlake), Anagyrus sp. and Leptomastix dacty/opii (Howard). Developmental studies on P. ficus and C. peregrinus indicated that the intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was similar, peaking at 25°C (rm = 0.169 for P. ficus; rm = 0.149 for C. peregrinus). The net replacement rate (Ra) was higher for P. ficus than for C. peregrinus at all five temperatures tested. The Ra for P. ficus reached a maximum at 21°C (308.87) and C. peregrinus at 25°C for C. peregrinus (69.94). The lower and upper thresholds for development of P. ficus were estimated at 16.59 and 35.61°C respectively. The lower threshold for development of C. peregrinus was 8.85°C. These parameters indicated that both insects were well adapted to temperatures in the Western Cape Province. The lower minimum threshold temperature of C. peregrinus in relation to that of P. ficus suggests that C. peregrinus should be more active during winter and early spring than P. ficus. A central systematic presence-absence sampling system was developed for P. ficus. Monitoring three different plant parts on the vine indicated that new growth areas on vines adjacent to the main stem could serve as an early warning system for pending P. ficus bunch infestations. Intervention should be planned when 2 % of the stems are infested with P. ficus when using this system. Seasonal population studies of P. ficus and its natural enemies showed that stem infestation by P. ficus reached peak levels during January in Robertson and Stellenbosch and during February in the Hex River Valley. Vine mealybugs colonised new growth early in the season, followed by the leaves and eventually the bunches towards the end of the season. High stem infestations early in the season resulted in high bunch infestation levels at harvest. A density dependent relationship was evident between P. ficus populations and parasitoid populations, suggesting that the parasitoids played a mayor role in the biological control of P. ficus populations. Biological control was however only achieved towards the end of the season when damage to the crop had already occurred. Mass releases of C. peregrinus on P. ficus populations were done in order to augment biological control as an alternative to chemical control. Between five and six releases of 20 000 C. peregrinus per release were done at monthly intervals in three grapegrowing areas. Mass released C. peregrinus controlled P. ficus adequately in the Hex River Valley. Control of P. ficus using this approach was no worse than using chemical control in Robertson and Stellenbosch. C. peregrinus is commercially available and can therefore be used as an alternative to chemical control by producers. Degree day estimation was used to predict development of P. ficus populations. This information was used as an input in a P. ficus pest management model. Data acquired from P. ficus and ant monitoring were used as components to construct a decision chart. This chart can be used by producers to optimise the control of P. ficus populations using either chemical control or mass releases of C. peregrinus.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: "n Studie is gedurende die 1999/2000 en 2000/2001 seisoene gedoen met die doelom die witluisspesies wat in wingerde voorkom, te identifiseer. Planococcus ficus (Signoret) is tans die dominante witluisspesie in wingerde in die Wes Kaap Provinsie. P. ficus kolonies is op wingerdwortels gevind. Dié bevinding kan verreikende gevolge hê vir die beheer van dié plaag as "n belangrike rolbladvirus vektor aangesien beheer tot dusver gefokus het op bogrondse gedeeltes. Ander witluisspesies wat in wingerde gevind is, sluit in Pseudococcus /ongispinus (Targioni) en Ferrisia malvastra (McDaniel). Pseudococcus vibumi (Maskell) en Ps. so/ani Ferris is op onkruide in wingerde gevind. Dominante natuurlike vyande van P. ficus sluit predatoriese kewertjies van verskeie Nephus spp. en die parasitoïede Coccidoxenoides peregrinus (Timberlake), Anagyrus sp. en Leptomastix dacty/opii (Howard) in. Ontwikkelingstudies op P. ficus en C. peregrinus het aangetoon dat die inhirente voortplantingstempo (rm) soortgelyk was vir beide insekte met "n maksimum by 25°C (0.169 vir P. ficus, 0.149 vir C. peregrinus). Die netto vervangingstempo (Ra) was in vergelyking met C. peregrinus hoër vir P. ficus by al vyf temperature getoets. Die Ra van P. ficus het "n maksimum bereik teen 21°C (308.87) en die van e. peregrinus by 25°C (69.94). Die teoretiese hoër en laer drempels vir ontwikkeling van P. ficus was onderskeidelik 16.59 en 35.61 oe. Die teoretiese laer drempelwaarde van ontwikkeling vir e. peregrinus was 8.85°e. Hierdie parameters dui aan dat beide insekte goed aangepas is by temperature in die Wes Kaap Provinsie. Die laer minimum drempel vir ontwikkeling van C. peregrinus in verhouding tot P. ficus impliseer dat C. peregrinus in die winter en vroeë lente meer aktief sal wees as P. ficus. 'n Sentrale sistematiese aan-afwesig moniteringsisteem met bekende vlakke van steekproefnemingsfout is ontwikkel in kommersiële wingerde vir P. ficus. Monitering van drie verskillende dele op die wingerdstok het aangedui dat die nuwe groei areas kan dien as 'n vroeë waarskuwing vir latere P. ficus trosinfestasies. Dié sisteem sal produsente in staat stelom te bepaal wanneer optrede noodsaaklik is. Daar word voorgestel dat optrede noodsaaklik is by 'n P. ficus besmettingsvlak van 2 % op die nuwe groei areas op stokke. Stambesmetting deur P. ficus het in Januarie piekvlakke bereik in Stellenbosch en Robertson, en in Februarie in die Hex Rivier Vallei. P. ficus koloniseer nuwe groei vroeg in die seisoen waarna blare en trosse aan die einde van die seisoen gekoloniseer word. Dié data dui aan dat P. ficus besmetting op nuwe groei vroeg in die seisoen 'n aanduiding kan gee van hoë trosbesmetting aan die einde van die seisoen. 'n Digtheidsafhanklike verwantskap was waarneembaar tussen P. ficus plaagpopulasies en parasitoïed populasies. Dié verwantskap dui aan dat parasitoïede die belangrikste rol speel in biologiese beheer van P. ficus populasies. Biologiese beheer van witluis is egter eers aan die einde van die seisoen bereik toe die oes reeds beskadig was. Massavrylatings van C. peregrinus is in P. ficus besmette blokke gedoen om biologiese beheer aan te help en sodoende as alternatief tot chemiese beheer te dien. Tussen vyf en ses vrylatings met 20 000 C. peregrinus is een keer per maand gedurende die seisoen gedoen. Die vrygelate C. peregrinus het P. ficus populasies voldoende beheer in die Hex Rivier Vallei. Beheer van P. ficus deur massavrylatings van C. peregrinus was soortgelyk as chemiese beheer in Robertson en Stellenbosch. C. peregrinus is kommersieel beskikbaar en kan om hierdie rede as alternatief tot chemiese beheer gebruik word. Graaddag bepaling is gebruik om die ontwikkeling van P. ficus populasies te voorspel. Hierdie inligting is gebruik as 'n verdere hulpmiddel in die P. ficus plaagbeheermodel. Inligting verkry vanuit P. ficus en mier monitering is gebruik as komponente in die opstel van 'n besluitnemingstabel. Hierdie tabel kan gebruik word deur produsente om beheer van P. ficus plaagpopulasies te optimaliseer deur chemiese beheer of massavrylatings van C. peregrinus.

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