Predators and parasitoids of invasive soybean aphid
CALS Impact Statement
Soybean aphid has recently entered New York state. We have undertaken surveys to identify any parasitoids attacking this species. We discovered four species fulfilling this role: two Aphelinus wasps, one Praon wasp, and one Ephedrus wasp. We have investigated potential predators of soybean aphid in five fields in Tompkins and Cayuga counties through the use of pitfall traps placed from field margins to 20 meters into the field. We sampled native and non-native carabid beetles over the growing season, with over 40 species identified so far. The biology of these species is being investigated to determine whether any of the species will impact soybean aphid populations feeding on the plants. Future plans are for arboreal sampling at night for these predators, to determine their activity patterns in proximity to the aphids.
The soybean aphid is a novel addition to the insect fauna in this area, having expanded its range from the upper midwest. We need to determine the natural enemies that might impact populations of this pest, and the host specificity of those various enemies. If we can rely on particular natural enemies in particular circumstances, we can hopefully reduce the amounts of insecticides used to control these pests.
We are still in the process of analyzing 2005 data, and so we are not yet in any position to extend the results.
This would be very hard to predict, however, any effort to reduce the use of pesticides seems worthy of pursuit.