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Article alert: Parasitoids of Asian rice planthopper (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) pests and prospects for enhancing biological control by ecological engineering
08.11.2011

Annals of Applied Biology (2011) 158(2):149-176. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7348.2010.00455.x

Gurr, G. M., J. Liu, D. M. Y. Read, J. L. A. Catindig, J. A. Cheng, L. P. Lan, and K. L. Heong.

The brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, whitebacked planthopper (WBPH) Sogatella furcifera and smaller BPH Laodelphax striatellus increasingly exhibit resistance to insecticides and adaptation to resistant varieties, so they threaten food security. This review draws together, for the first time, information on the parasitoids of planthopper pests of rice from the non-English literature published in Asia. This is integrated with the English language literature to provide a comprehensive analysis. Planthopper pests of rice are attacked by a large range of parasitoids from Strepsiptera, Diptera and, especially, Hymenoptera. Levels of field parasitism vary widely between parasitoid species and locations. For many taxa, especially within Mymaridae, there is evidence that non-crop habitats are important as overwintering habitat in which alternative hosts are available. These source habitats may promote early season parasitism of pest Hemiptera in rice crops, and their movement into crops could be manipulated with applications of herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Non-crop plants can also provide nectar to improve parasitoid longevity and fecundity. Despite evidence for the importance of environmental factors affecting parasitoids of rice pests, the use of habitat manipulation to enhance biological control in the world's most important crop is surprisingly underrepresented in the literature. Current research in China, Vietnam and Thailand on ecological engineering, carefully selected vegetation diversity introduced without disrupting profitable farming, is briefly reported. Although the most important pest, BPH (N. lugens), is a migratory species, maintaining local communities of parasitoids and other natural enemies offers scope to prevent even r-selected pests from reaching damaging population densities.


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