Maize planting time and arthropod abundance in southern Mindanao, Philippines. II. Population dynamics of natural enemies uri icon

abstract

  • Beneficial arthropods were monitored in monthly plantings over 4 years in a rainfed, triple-maize cropping system in southern Mindanao, Philippines. Generalist predators and two egg parasitoids of the Asian corn borer Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenee) (ACB) did not show significant differences in abundance with respect to calendar month of planting over 39 crops. Two species of Trichogramma (T. evanescens Westwood and T. chilonis Ishii) collectively parasitized 67% of ACB egg masses and 58% eggs over the study becoming more abundant as the crop aged. The closeness of the two parasitism rates suggests that to increase parasitoid efficacy, particularly early in the crop, the best strategy would be augmentation and to increase longevity of wasps by providing carbohydrate sources to extend their searching time. Unparasitized egg masses tended to be smaller showing they were more likely to be overlooked. The ratio between the two parasitoids was 56:44 in favour of the former. Trichogramma evanescens had been introduced 2 years earlier by a government project, whereas T. chilonis probably was introduced by sugarcane estates. Prior to their introduction there were no ACB egg parasitoids in the Philippines and both are firmly established as annual parasitism levels did not continue to rise during the study. Parasitoid activity caused significant reductions in neonate ACB larval numbers beginning 7 weeks after crop emergence in an average crop. Egg parasitism rates were positively and linearly correlated with ACB egg mass density. A quadratic regression model was established between mean egg parasitism rates and egg masses size with peak parasitism rates occurring at 25 eggs per mass. Collectively 32 species of generalist predators averaged 0.9 - 1.5 individuals per plant based on weekly samplings. If ants were excluded, the average dropped to 0.1 - 0.3 per plant. Ants, dominated by Solenopsis geminata (F.), fed on ACB eggs and larvae. Coccinellids as the next most numerous were represented by three species where Micraspis crocea (Mulsant) in particular tracked ACB egg masses and probably the corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) as well. Four species of orthropterans also tracked ACB egg masses. The third most abundant guild was 17 spiders with the oxyopid Oxyopes javanus Thorell and the araneid Araneus inustus (C.L. Koch) highly correlated with ACB egg mass densities. Other spiders targeted ACB moths and Atherigona oryzae Malloch adults. The predatory mirid Cyrtorhinus lividipennis Reuter probably targeted the corn leafhopper Cicadulina bimaculata (Evans) and possibly thrips Thrips palmi Karny and Megalurothrips usitatus (Bagnall). The lacewing Chrysopa sp. was abundant late in the crop when aphids were present on tassels.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007