Seasonal habits of predation and prey range in aphidophagous silver flies (Diptera Chamaemyiidae), an overlooked family of biological control agents

SATAR S. , Raspi A., Ozdemir I., Tusun A., Karacaoglu M., Benelli G.

BULLETIN OF INSECTOLOGY, vol.68, no.2, pp.173-180, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Title of Journal : BULLETIN OF INSECTOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.173-180


Aphids are among the most widespread and serious groups of pests in agro-ecosystems, and predaceous arthropods have been proposed as biological control agents against them, including parasitic Hymenoptera, lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies and silver flies (Diptera Chamaemyiidae). Chamaemyiidae is a small family of predaceous flies, including aphidophagous and coccidophagous species. Little is known about their ecology, and partial failures of Chamaemyiidae-based biological control programs against aphids may be due to poor synchronization of predator-prey seasonal habits. In this study, we investigated seasonality of predation and prey range of aphidophagous Chamaemyiidae. A field survey was conducted on crops and indigenous flora in seven agricultural sites in southern Turkey. Seventeen host plant families were surveyed for Chamaemyiidae presence and 371 silver flies were studied. All Chamaemyiidae larvae were observed to prey on adult and young instar aphids in the field. Silver fly total larval abundance reached a maximum in autumn and early winter. Six species were identified: Leucopis annulipes, L. formosana, L. glyphinivora, L. revisenda, L. rufithorax and L. spyrothecae. L. glyphinivora was more abundant in July, L. annulipes and L. revisenda in September-October, and L. formosana in October-December. L. annulipes was found to prey mostly on Aphis gossypii, A. craccivora and A. fabae. L. formosana on A. gossypii, A. fabae and Toxoptera aurantii. L. glyphinivora on Brachycaudus cardui and Dysaphis plantaginea. L. revisenda on Myzus persicae. Our results add baseline knowledge on seasonal habits of predation and prey range of aphidophagous Chamaemyiidae and may be helpful for biological control purposes.