n African Entomology - New record of Aphididae (Hemiptera) and Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) species associated with shadehouse-cultivated lettuce on a South African Highveld farm : short communication

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Lettuce ( L.) is primarily intended for the fresh market (Hammig & Mittelhammer 1980). Producers are encouraged to grow this salad vegetable year-round due to its increased popularity and higher prices that can be obtained during 'off-seasons'. To facilitate continuous production, some producers have reverted to the use of plastic tunnels and shadehouses to protect their crop from environmental extremes. Unfortunately, these, and shadehouses in particular, offer limited protection against pest infestations, especially smaller species such as aphids. These insects are renowned lettuce pests and 21 species have been recorded infesting the crop (Blackman & Eastop 2000). Of these, Millar (1994) has recorded five species on lettuce from sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at determining the predominant pest aphid species occurring on shadehouse-cultivated lettuce and their associated predatory ladybird guild, the preferred biological control agents for these insects.

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