Who's eating the Dubas Bug? Characterization of Biological Control Through Molecular Gut Analysis

  • Obrycki, John (PI)
  • Harwood, James (Former PI)
  • Sharkey, Michael (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposal contributes to both the immediate and long-term priorities and goals of The Research Council Dubas Bug Biological Control program, by characterizing the role predators play in biological control, and how alternative prey affect the impact of natural enemies on pest population dynamics. Moreover, we contribute to understanding how behavioral processes are associated with patterns of arthropod population dynamics. Our research also addresses long-term priorities through its focus on how predators influence the dynamics of a key pest of a major agricultural crop in Oman. As we understand how alternative prey affects predation of the dubas bug we can give producers more refined control recommendations and help identify alternative production practices. Furthermore, this research proposal seeks to establish a fundamental understanding of the role predators play in the biological control of the dubas bug, Ommatissus lybicus de Bergevin (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae). This is a serious pest of the date palm in some Gulf States (central and southern Iraq, southern Iran, southern Pakistan, eastern Yemen and northern Oman). Within Oman, this pest causes major damage to date palm, reducing yield and quality, and thereby impacting agricultural economics throughout the region. When outbreak occurs, the dubas bug is both difficult and expensive to control; various insecticidal recommendations exist for control. The scale of insecticidal input into date palms (400 tons at a cost of 9 million Omani Rials from 1993-2006) raises serious questions regarding the consequence of such application to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Executive Summary
Effective start/end date12/19/134/30/19


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