Study Group "beneficial arthropods and entomopathogenic nematodes"

The study group is supported by both the German Society for General and Applied Entomology and the German Phytomedical Society. The abstracts of the contributions are published in the DGaaE-Nachrichten and in Phytomedizin. The last meeting took place in November 2018 in Bremen (27.11. – 28.11.2018 in cooperation with the 27th Workshop "Biological Control")

This working group deals with current research on organisms that play a role in biological pest control. Although beneficial arthropods, i.e. mainly insects or predatory mites, and entomopathogenic nematodes have traditionally been in the foreground, the WG also deals with microorganisms such as insect-pathogenic fungi or viruses that are studied for the control of harmful insects or mites. All facets of biological plant protection are examined: Practical experience with commercially available beneficial organisms, the search for new promising candidates for the regulation of invasive pests or the ecosystem importance of these organisms and strategies for the conservation and promotion of their biodiversity and ecosystem services are regular topics in the working group. The effects of more or less intensive land management as well as the influence of pesticides and measures to avoid harmful non-target effects are also important discussion points at the events.

The working group brings together stakeholders from university and official research institutions, beneficial organisms producers, and representatives from consultancy and interest groups. The lively and active participation of students and doctoral candidates who present contributions from their own bachelor, master and doctoral theses is particularly important to us. All contributions (lectures and posters) are welcome in German and English and will be published afterwards as English abstracts in a conference report.  The working group was founded in 1981 and is run in cooperation with the DPG: http://plant-protection.net/de/arbeitskreise/nutzarthropoden/. The number of participants ranges from 30 to 50 visitors and care is taken to ensure that there is always enough time for discussion. At irregular intervals the working group meets with the "Arbeitstagung Biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung" of the official advisory service of the federal states, and thus assumes even more importance for the everyday practice of biological plant protection.

The ichneumonid wasp Trichomma enecator is an important parasitoid of the codling moth Cydia pomonella. © Simon Feiertag