[Syrphidae] Rearing aphidophagous species

Chris Bergh cbergh@vt.edu
Mon, 05 Jun 2000 10:39:44 -0400

Hello. I'm a new faculty member with Virginia Tech Entomology, working at a
research facility at Winchester VA. The bulk of my responsibilities are in
apple pest management, and I'm becoming quite interested in the syrphids in
aphid colonies here, particularly woolly apple aphid but also Rosy, Spirea
and Green Apple aphids. From my preliminary pokings around, there is
certainly no shortage of larval syrphids in WAA colonies on commercial
apple trees, and they are voracious in cups with aphids in the lab, so I
don't foresee problems getting them to the adult stage. So, I'm wondering
who can give me some feedback on experiences, literature, etc. pertaining
to rearing adults and the use of syrphids in biocontrol of aphids, with
special emphasis on apple and/or WAA.

We are in a period of regulatory transition here, moving away from
widespread reliance on OP's and probably carbamates. This will undoubtedly
affect the relative importance of some pests and predators, hence my
interest in syrphids. How much work has been done on the toxicity of the
various pesticides to the flies? Are the adults of different species easily
differentiated? i.e. could one sweep net collect them in the field and
proceed to rear them that way? Thank you in advance for your help with
pointing me in the right direction.

Chris Bergh
J. Christopher Bergh
Virginia Tech
Alson H. Smith, Jr.
Agricultural Research and Extension Center
595 Laurel Grove Road
Winchester, VA 22602

Tel: (540) 869-2560
Fax: (540) 869-0862