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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The functional significance of E-β-Farnesene: does it influence the populations of aphid natural enemies in the fields?

Published source details

Cui L., Francis F., Heuskin S., Lognay G., Liu Y., Dong J., Chen J. & Song X. (2012) The functional significance of E-β-Farnesene: does it influence the populations of aphid natural enemies in the fields? Biological Control, 60, 108-112


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use chemicals to attract natural enemies Natural Pest Control

A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 2009-2010 in Shandong, China (Cui et al. 2012) found plots with E-β-farnesene lures had 9-41 parasitised aphids/20 Chinese cabbages Brassica rapa pekinensis compared to 5-19 parasitised aphids in controls. More parasitoid wasps (Aphidiidae) occurred in plots with the chemical attractant (11-14 wasps in traps) than controls (5-10 wasps). More lady beetles occurred on cabbages in treated versus control plots (14-16 vs. 6-8 lady beetles/20 cabbages), but numbers were similar in traps (2.4-3.0 vs. 0.7-2.7 lady beetles). Spider (Araneae) numbers were similar between treated plots (26-133 spiders/20 cabbages) and controls (60-104 spiders). Fewer aphids (Aphidoidea) occurred in plots with E-β-farnesene lures than controls (167 vs. 365 aphids/20 cabbages in 2009, 1,108 vs. 1,332 in 2010). A chemical releaser was attached to a yellow pan trap in the centre of each 10 x 10 m plot and filled with 100 µl of E-β-farnesene (an aphid alarm chemical) in paraffin oil every seven days. Controls used a pan trap with no chemical releaser. Treatments were replicated three times. Invertebrates were surveyed weekly in September-October on 20 cabbages and in pan traps.