Ant-attendance as a critical factor in the biological control of the banana aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa Coq. (Hom. Aphididae) in Oceania

Authors

  • Dr D.-H. Stechmann,

    Corresponding author
    1. Museum am Schölerberg—Natur und Umwelt, Osnabrück, Germany
    2. Department of Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth, Germany
    3. Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budéjovice, Czech Republic
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr W. Völkl,

    Corresponding author
    1. Museum am Schölerberg—Natur und Umwelt, Osnabrück, Germany
    2. Department of Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth, Germany
    3. Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budéjovice, Czech Republic
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr P. Starý

    Corresponding author
    1. Museum am Schölerberg—Natur und Umwelt, Osnabrück, Germany
    2. Department of Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth, Germany
    3. Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budéjovice, Czech Republic
    Search for more papers by this author

Museum am Schölerberg—Natur und Umwelt, Am Schölerberg 8, D-49082 Osnabrück, Germany

Department of Animal Ecology 1, University of Bayreuth, PF 10 12 51, D-95412, Germany

Department of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branisovska 31, CZ-370 05 Ceské Budéjovice, Czech Republic

Abstract

Abstract: Colonies of the banana aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa Coq. were heavily attended by ants in banana plantations on Tongatapu Island, Kingdom of Tonga. Ant-attendance reduced the density of indigenous predators of P. nigronervosa considerably. Most important was the reduction by ants of the parasitism of Aphis gossypii by the aphelinid wasp Aphelinus gossypii. The introduced aphid parasitoid Aphidius colemani was also heavily attacked by various ant species, and we conclude that ant-attendance may limit the economic impact of this successfully introduced parasitoid species.

Ancillary