Research: Non-Phytosanitary Key Pests

Programme Coordinator:
Dr Tim Grout

Collaborating researchers involved:
Dr Sean Moore (CRI), Wayne Kirkman (CRI)

Adult male red scale Aonidiella aurantii emerging
backwards from under scale cover.

This programme includes important cosmetic pests such as citrus thrips Scirtothrips aurantii and bollworm Helicoverpa armigera and production pests such as red scale Aonidiella aurantii and citrus psylla Trioza erytreae.
There is a continuous search for more IPM-compatible thripicides because products used for thrips control are often detrimental to the natural enemies of other key pests. Citrus thrips is indigenous and the understanding of population dynamics is far from complete. It is likely that no single natural enemy is responsible for suppressing populations but a complex of arthropod predators and a parasitoid, in addition to density independent factors.
Little research is being conducted on red scale at the moment. Research on citrus psylla primarily focuses on alternative control strategies to systemic organophosphates.

Damage caused by Helicoverpa armigera on the left and
Ascotis selenaria reciprocaria on the right