Nezara viridula, a member of the stink bug complex, is cosmopolitan in distribution as it occurs throughout tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa the Americans and Australasia. This species is extremely polyphagous attacking several plants species, and most of them are economic species. Non-selective insecticides belonging to carbamates, such as monocrotophos, metamidophos, chlorpyrifos, and endosulfan, are currently used to control N. viridula populations. However, it is well known that the massive use of insecticides of this kind not only increases production costs, but can also generate pest-resistant populations by selective pressure. In the view of above, recently the European Parliament established a framework for Community action encouraging the development of alternative eco-sustainable approaches or techniques (Directive 2009/128/EC). Among them, biological control utilizing native natural enemies is expected to become a more important control tactic in the near future. Among natural enemies, parasitoids attacking the hosts at the egg stage are often favoured for biocontrol deployment because they kill the pest before its crop-feeding stage and thus have a high potential for preventing damage. However, biological control programmes using egg-parasitoids have had very variable success rates, as in the case of Trissolcus basalis, the main egg parasitoid of N. viridula that has been extensively used against this pest with inconsistent results. The key to improving success of T. basalis against N. viridula is to collect a good understanding of its biology, behaviour and ecology. The proposed work is consistent with increasing global recognition that agro-ecology has to be the approach for future farming. It therefore supports the conclusions and recommendations of the United Nations. The project brings together internationally recognized groups in biological control of insect pests aiming to address the common problem of food security.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
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