Syrphid flies suppress lettuce aphids
Brian Hogg, Erik Nelson, Kent Daane, Nicholas Mills
aphididae, biological control, California central coast, dipera, ecosystem service, hemiptera, lettuce, rural, syrphidae
The authors studied whether syrphid flies have the ability to supress aphid populations in lettuce fields in coastal California. Conventional lettuce growers often spray their fields to prevent aphids on lettuce, but organic growers are prohibited from that activity and often rely on syrphid flies. The authors found that aphid densities decreased more rapidly when more syrphid larvae were present, and female syrphid’s have been shown to be fairly reliable at laying their eggs in areas of higher densities of aphids. Syrphid flies show promise in organically reducing aphid populations on lettuce in California, but the authors note that additional environmental conditions must be considered and studied further.