Assessing the effectiveness of Aphidius ervi as a biological control agent of the blue-green lucerne aphid, Acyrthosiphon kondoi : A parasite inclusion experiment
Under the conditions of the experiment described here A. ervi had marked effects on blue-green lucerne aphid, A. siphon , (BGA) numbers. This indicates that it has the potential to be a useful biological control agent, as damage to lucerne by BGA is related to the cumulative effects of aphid numbers. The management practices of lucerne crops mean that plants are continually colonized by aphids on re-growth. The design of this experiment is a highly simplified version of the processes involved. Initial aphid and parasite treatments had a significant influence on BGA population trajectories for much of the experiment. However, the impact of A. ervi on aphid numbers was highly dependent on the initial ratio of parasites to aphids.