Diversity and temporal dynamics of a litchi orchard arthropod community in Guangzhou.
Objectives: To provide a theoretical basis for forecasting and scientific biological control of major litchi orchard pests. Methods: The structure and dynamics of the arthropod community in a litchi orchard in Conghua, Guangzhou was investigated in the field from 2012 to 2013. Results: 3 542 arthropod specimens, belonging to 15 orders, 113 families and 204 species, were recorded. The main taxa were Hymenoptera, Homoptera and Araneae. Herbivorous species were predominant. Different micro-environments within the orchard could have a different community composition; the index of arthropod community diversity was higher in the canopy than in the herb layer but arthropod abundance in the canopy was lower than in the herb layer. There were two obvious peaks in species abundance with the main peak occurring between April and June. Herbivorous insects significantly increased during the green fruit and ripening periods. Seasonal variation in community composition was also relatively obvious in the canopy and herb layer. The dominant pest species were Tessaratoma papillosa, Cletus punctiger, Conopomorpha sinensis, Eriophyes litchii and Thalassodes proquadraria, and the dominant natural enemies were Leucauge magnifica, Oxyopes sertatus, Chrysopa carnea, Menochilus sexmaculata and Propylea japonica. Conclusion: Litchi orchards have high arthropod species diversity. The number and occurrence of dominant pests and their predatory natural enemies are closely related to the growth and development of litchi fruit.