Aphidoletes aphidimyza

Aphidoletes aphidimisa is a small insect of the family Cecidomyiidae (gull gnats). It is wide spread in nature. It is an important biological agent for the effective control of different species of aphids (more than 60). The adult individual is 2.5–3 mm in length, black. It feeds on the sweet excretions of aphids. The female lays 100–250 eggs. It prefers to lay eggs in the colonies of the pest. The larva is 0.3–3 mm in length. Initially it is transparent, orange. Later it is able to change a coloration into red, brown or grey dependently on the source of feeding. Aphidoletes consumes the larva stages of the pest previously killing them by way of toxin injection paralyzing the prey. The larva is able to kill from 3 to 50 individuals of aphids per day. The life span of these predators amounts to 4 weeks.  Aphidoletes aphidimisa is successfully applied for the biological control of aphids on cucumbers, tomatoes, chrysanthemums, roses and some other ornamental plants in greenhouses. The rate of application is 3–5 individuals per 1 m2. The optimal hydrothermal conditions for the development of Aphidoletes are a temperature of about 25°C, and a relative air humidity of 70–90%.

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Advantages

  • application for the most of vegetable and ornamental crops in glass-covered ground,
  • the control of about 60 aphid species,
  • considerable search abilities,
  • the high intensiveness of feeding.