Hilgardia
Hilgardia
Hilgardia
University of California
Hilgardia

Beneficial insects move from flowering plants to nearby crops

Authors

Rachael Freeman Long
Andrew Corbett
Celia Lamb
Chris Reberg-Horton
Jeff Chandler
Michael Stimmann

Authors Affiliations

R. Freeman Long is UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Yolo and Solano counties; A. Corbett is Postdoctoral Researcher, Entomology, UC Davis; C. Lamb is Field Assistant, Agronomy, UC Davis; C. Reberg-Horton is Graduate Student, Agronomy, UC Davis; J. Chandler is Consultant, Corn Flower Farms, ElK Grove; M. Stimmann is Extension Environmental Toxicologist, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 52(5):23-26. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n05p23. September 1998.

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Abstract

Marking studies demonstrated that lady beetles, lacewings, syrphid flies and parasitic wasps fed on nectar or pollen provided by borders of flowering plants around farms; many insects moved 250 feet into adjacent field crops. Studies using the elemental marker rubidium also showed that syrphid flies, parasitic wasps and lacewings fed on flowering cover crops in orchards and that some moved 6 feet high in the tree canopy and 100 feet away from the treated area. The use of nectar or pollen by beneficial insects helps them survive and reproduce. Therefore, planting flowering plants and perennial grasses around farms may lead to better biological control of pests in nearby crops.

References

Berry WL, Stimmann MW, Wolf WW. Marking of phytophagous native insects with rubidium: A proposed technique. Annals Ento. 1972. 65:236-8.

Stimmann MW, Wolf WW, Berry WL. Cabbage loopers: The biological effects of rubidium in the larval diet. J Econ Entomol. 1973. 66:324-6.

Bugg RL, Anderson JH, Thomsen CD, Chandler J., Pickett CH, Bugg RL. Farmscaping: Restoring native biodiversity to agricultural settings. Enhancing biological control: habitat management to promote natural enemies of agricultural pests. 1998. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (In press).

Long R, Corbett A, Lamb C, Reberg-Horton C, Chandler J, Stimmann M. 1998. Beneficial insects move from flowering plants to nearby crops. Hilgardia 52(5):23-26. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n05p23
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