Harmful and beneficial insects for safflower crop in the semiarid pampean region.
The work's aims were to identify both harmful and helpful insect species for safflower crop and to study their distribution along time in relation to plant phenological state. The insect species identified as harmful were: Uroleucon jaceae L., Capitophorus elaeagni, Frankliniella occidentalis P., Dichelops furcatus (F.), Athaumasthus haematicus (Stål), Nezara viridula (L.), Nysius simulans Stål, Edessa meditabunda (F.), Piezodorus guildinii (W.), Helicoverpa zea B., Epicauta adspersa K., Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), Chauliognathus scriptus (Germ.), Pantomorus auripes H. and Rachiplusia nu (G.). Regarding aphids, their highest density was observed at the beginning of November, when crop was in the state of branching, with invasion mainly of the upper third of plants: leaves, young shoots and flower heads. Among all harmful true bugs found in the crop, red bug Athaumastus haematicus (Stål) comprised the highest proportion and was detected before aphids attacks, when stem elongation of plants was just beginning. As for beneficial species, the six insects detected in sufflower crop were Hippodamia convergens G., Eriopis connexa G., Harmonia axyridis (P.), Nabis sp., Ophion sp. and Apis melifera L., besides various spider species. The coccinellids Hippodamia convergens; Eriopis connexa and Harmonia axydiris performed as the main natural control agents at crop.