Eric Wellington Riddick

Eric Wellington Riddick
United States Department of Agriculture | USDA · Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Doctor of Philosophy
Research, writing, editing, and philosophical thinking on life sciences with special reference to entomology.

About

100
Publications
23,793
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Introduction
Dr. Eric Wellington RIDDICK is an experienced life scientist in the environmental and agricultural research industries. He is skilled in statistical data analysis, digital imaging and microscopy, research and development (R&D), animal life cycles/histories, written communication, scientific editing, and philosophical thinking. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused on Entomological Sciences from the University of California, College of Natural Resources, Berkeley, California, USA.
Additional affiliations
January 1999 - present
United States Department of Agriculture
Position
  • Research Entomologist
Description
  • Research in behavioral, chemical, and nutritional ecology of natural enemies for biocontrol services and native bees for pollination services in USA.
Education
August 1989 - December 1993
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Entomological Sciences

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
We review aspects of the life histories of representative enemies of coccinellids (both entomophagous and phytophagous species) and expose both potential and real effects that they have on life parameters of their hosts. Lady beetles are attacked by a variety of natural enemies (bacteria, fungi, mites, nematodes, protozoa, wasps, flies). Few of the...
Article
Full-text available
The primary peer-reviewed literature pertaining to rearing of predatory beetles, true bugs, and lacewings was reviewed and synthesized. This study focused on the literature published from 1998 to 2007. Advances in rearing were revealed in relation to the influence of factitious prey and artificial diets on predator life parameters. Eggs of the Ango...
Article
Plants use trichomes as a morphological defense against attacks from herbivores. We reviewed the literature to test the hypothesis that trichome-bearing (pubescent) plants do not cause more harm than good to predators. We found 47 records on interactions between plant trichomes and predatory insects. Overall, the records reveal that trichomes have...
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An adventive aphid and novel host-parasitoid association from cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananessa Duch. cv. Chandler; Fragaria × ananessa Duch. cv. Camarosa) in Mississippi, USA are reported herein. The aphid, first detected in high tunnel cultivation, was found predominately on newly emerged, not fully developed leaflets of daughter plants...
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Many predatory coccinellids conflict with hemipteran tending ants, because they both use hemipterans as resources. Lady beetles are important in the ecology of ants and their reciprocal relationship with hemipterans. Volatiles released by lady beetles have diverse biological significance in intraspecific communication, attraction, and aggregation....
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Natural enemies have an extensive history as biological control agents against crop pests worldwide [...]
Article
The effects of cattail Typha latifolia L. pollen on development and reproduction of Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) was determined over 25 consecutive generations (G). The ability of N. cucumeris to locate, capture, and consume natural prey Tetranychus urticae (Koch) was assessed after the 10th generation (G10-switch) and the 20th generation (G20-s...
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The predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is produced commercially for biological control of insects and mites on crop plants around the world. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a diet of natural prey, Tetranychus turkestani Ugarov and Nikolskii (Acari: Tetranychidae), date palm pollen, or bee-col...
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The tetranychid Tetranychus turkestani Ugarov and Nikolskii is a serious pest of many important crops around the world. Management of T. turkestani by augmentative biological control using predators such as the phytoseiid Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) is envisioned as an environmentally safe alternative to acaricides. Foundational knowledge...
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Trichogramma euproctidis (Girault) is an egg parasitoid under consideration for mass production and augmentative biological control of major lepidopteran pests in Iran and other countries. The main objective of this research was to determine the effects of T. euproctidis female age and Ephestia kuehniella Zeller egg age on life history parameters o...
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Stethorus gilvifrons is an acarophagous coccinellid distributed in the Mediterranean region and could potentially be mass-reared for the augmentative biological control of Tetranychus turkestani and related species on crop plants. The hypothesis that brine shrimp Artemia franciscana cysts can improve diets for rearing of S. gilvifrons was tested in...
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The noctuid Helicoverpa armigera is an economically important pest of agricultural crops in Iran and other countries. Research is evaluating the capacity of Trichogramma parasitoids to control H. armigera populations on field crops. The objective of this research was to determine if young rather than old H. armigera eggs were optimal for Trichogram...
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Quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids in terrestrial plants and pollen. In living plants, quercetin can function as a secondary metabolite to discourage insect herbivory. Literature on insect-quercetin interactions was searched and data synthesized to test the hypothesis that quercetin can become an effective biocide to reduce herbivory...
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Introduction: Evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and non-VOCs stimulate oviposition by aphidophagous predators is scattered throughout the literature. The objectives of this review are to (1) compile records indicating that VOCs and non-VOCs are responsible for oviposition stimulation, (2) calculate an egg production ratio (EPR) for s...
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Background: The ladybird beetle Stethorus gilvifrons (Mulsant) is an important natural enemy of tetranychid mites and functions as a biological control of these plant pests. The development, survival and reproduction of S. gilvifrons were studied when fed on three artificial diets. The components of the artificial diet that S. gilvifrons could be...
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The ladybird beetle Stethorus gilvifrons is a predator of tetranychid mites. The hypothesis that factitious diets had no negative effect on S. gilvifrons development and reproduction was tested. Experimental diets included natural prey Tetranychus turkestani eggs, Ephestia kuehniella eggs plus date palm pollen, E. kuehniella eggs plus maize pollen,...
Data
Colorized low temperature scanning electron micrograph of Aphis ruborum nymph. Photo courtesy of Eric W. Riddick, Gary L. Miller, Christopher L. Owen, and Gary R. Bauchan USDA, ARS. See https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iez045.
Article
The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, is a serious invasive pest of quarantine significance. Potential establishment of this ant is of great concern in S. invicta free countries such as South Korea, where there have been multiple recent interceptions. The majority of those detections have been concentrated around main port areas of i...
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The discovery of inexpensive, readily available bioflavonoids, and their degradation products that boost the reproductive potential of mass-reared predators is the overarching goal of this research. We tested the hypothesis that 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA), an inexpensive degradation product of morin (a flavonol bioflavonoid), stimulates ovipo...
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AIMS AND SCOPE: The aim of this special collection is to highlight the importance of reproduction (ie, oviposition) in the life history, population dynamics, survival, and fitness of beneficial insects, broadly defined. Specific areas of interest include the (1) identification of natural products to boost oviposition; (2) importance of chemical cue...
Article
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Background: The discovery of natural products to improve the reproductive performance of mass-reared predators is an important aim for successful augmentative biological control. We tested the hypothesis that quercetin (a bioflavonoid) stimulates oviposition by the ladybird beetle Coleomegillamaculata in the presence of conspecifics and a tissue s...
Article
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The harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has rapidly spread in several continents over the past 30 years and is considered an invasive alien species. The success of H. axyridis as an invader is often attributed to weak control by natural enemies. In this paper, we provide an overview of current knowledge on predators and...
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Maximizing the reproductive potential of ladybird beetles fed factitious foods or artificial diets, in lieu of natural prey, is a major challenge to cost-effective mass rearing for augmentative biological control. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that compounds in redcedar, Juniperus virginiana, stimulate oviposition in the ladybird Coleomeg...
Conference Paper
One of the major challenges to mass rearing predators of high quality, and in the quantity necessary for augmentative releases, is stimulating females to oviposit their maximum fecundity when fed un-natural foods. Using un-natural foods in lieu of natural prey (aphids) to mass rear ladybird beetles is a cost-effective technique. In laboratory exper...
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The virulence of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) strain NI8 was assessed on Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) and on natural enemies including Apis mellifera L., Crysoperla rufrilabris Burmeister, Orius insidiosus Say, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Coleomegilla maculata De...
Article
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Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has been introduced widely for biological control of agricultural pests. Harmonia axyridis has established in four continents outside of its native range in Asia and it is considered an invasive alien species (IAS). Despite a large body of work on invasion ecology, establishment mechanisms of IAS and th...
Article
Predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are important natural enemies of many pests in crop ecosystems throughout the world. Although several species are currently mass-reared and sold by biocontrol companies, there is an urgent need to reduce rearing costs. Cost-effective mass rearing of lady beetles involves the use of factitious prey/...
Article
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As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release rates usually did not correlate with aphid reduction. The rat...
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In the midst of considerable negativity surrounding the ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), this paper sheds some light on the positive effects that this predator has had on agriculture. Using resources available at the USDA, National Agricultural Library (DigiTop literature database, Navigator platform), I searched the abstracts of published lite...
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The predatory lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata has potential to control several arthropod pests on crop plants in greenhouses and high tunnels. However, an effective artificial diet is needed in order to mass produce C. maculata in sufficient quantities for augmentative releases. The objectives of this study were to develop a semi-solid insect-fre...
Article
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Our research focuses on developing techniques to rear ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). We evaluated the effects of rearing density on survival, growth, and development of Coleomegilla maculata. The hypothesis that a low to moderate rearing density has limited or no effects on survival and development was tested. C. maculata first insta...
Article
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The limited availability of alternative foods to replace natural prey hinders cost-effective mass production of ladybird beetles for augmentative biological control. We compared the effects of powdered vs. whole Artemia franciscana (A. franciscana) (brine shrimp) eggs with or without a dietary supplement on development and reproduction of Coleomegi...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the published literature that addresses the potential for insect protein to be an important supplement to—or even a replacement for—fishmeal in diets for juvenile fish and crustaceans. Fishmeal is becoming a finite resource. This chapter highlights areas of opportunity for producing insects to help meet the future demand for hi...
Article
Full-text available
A major hindrance to mass rearing predators for augmentative biological control is the limited availability of inexpensive, alternative foods in lieu of natural prey or target prey. We tested the hypothesis that brine shrimp eggs (Artemia franciscana) are a suitable alternative food that support the development of the predatory ladybird beetle, Col...
Article
Full-text available
A hindrance to wider adoption of augmentative biological control is the high cost of mass production of natural enemies, such as predatory insects. Cost reduction could occur by mass rearing of predators on alternative foods and artificial diets rather than maintaining live prey and host plants. Many of the experimental foods and diets tested thus...
Chapter
The research literature reveals moderate advances in technology to produce coleopteran predators, especially lady beetles. Several factitious prey/foods and insect-free artificial diets for polyphagous species are available. It might be more time- and cost-effective to develop artificial diet-based production systems for polyphagous rather than oli...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter addresses several key aspects of rearing procedures for predatory bugs. The value of natural, factitious, and artificial foods for the major species used in biological control is reviewed. Whereas several types of factitious foods are routinely used in the production of heteropteran predators, the adoption of artificial diets in mass p...
Article
The lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata De Geer is an omnivorous predator that could help suppress aphid and spider mite populations on plants in greenhouses, plantscapes or interiorscapes. We are assessing the nutritional requirements and feeding behavior of C. maculata on target prey (spider mites) and factitious (unnatural) food. Our ultimate goal...
Article
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In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a restricted range of temperatures is optimal for population growth of Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot in culture. When we compared mites reared at six alternating constant temperatures (21, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31°C), immature survival was significantly lower at 29 and 31°C. Development time decrea...
Article
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We investigated mother-offspring relations in a lady beetle Stethorus punctillum Weise that utilizes spider mites as prey. Our objectives were to determine if (1) prey quality affects egg size, (2) maternal size correlates with egg size, and (3) egg size affects hatching success. We fed predators spider mites Tetranychus urticae Koch from lima bean...
Article
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The ectoparasitic fungus Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter (Ascomycota: Laboulbeniales) commonly infects the invasive lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) and several other aphidophagous lady beetles in North America and Europe. We tested the hypothesis that bodily contact between adults of different lady beetle species supports horizontal transmiss...
Article
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Abstract We describe a system for harvesting eggs from a predatory insect, the pink-spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata De Geer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Adult beetles placed in square, transparent containers that included oviposition substrates hanging from the top of the cage deposited eggs on the materials provided. We harvested eggs...
Chapter
Full-text available
Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien predator in many countries across the world. The rapid establishment and spread of this species is of concern because of the threat it poses to biodiversity as a generalist predator. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the success of this species as an invader is not only intriguing but also critic...
Chapter
Full-text available
We review the chemical ecology of the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis from the perspective of its invasiveness and the deleterious effects it exerts in the regions it has colonised. We outline the nature and quantification of its chemical defence, and discuss the protection this provides against natural enemies, particularly intraguild predators....
Article
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Cultivated plants can have negative effects on natural enemies that attack spider mites. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that spider mites mediate effects of a lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus L., cultivar on the life history of a lady beetle Stethorus punctillum Weise. We provisioned laboratory arenas with two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus...
Article
Full-text available
Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien predator in many countries across the world. The rapid establishment and spread of this species is of concern because of the threat it poses to biodiversity as a generalist predator. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the success of this species as an invader is not only intriguing but also critic...
Article
Full-text available
We review the chemical ecology of the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis from the perspective of its invasiveness and the deleterious effects it exerts in the regions it has colonised. We outline the nature and quantification of its chemical defence, and discuss the protection this provides against natural enemies, particularly intraguild predators....
Article
Full-text available
We tested the hypothesis that Lima bean Phaseolus lunatus L. (Henderson cultivar) trichome density affects the survival of the acariphagous lady beetle Stethorus punctillum Weise. When isolated throughout larval development, 10% or less of S. punctillum larvae reared on two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch on small (rather than large) P...
Data
Erratum: Forgot to add Acknowledgments to cold storage manuscript, accepted in the journal BioControl.
Article
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Increasing the ability to store mass-reared natural enemies during periods or seasons of low demand is a critical need of the biocontrol industry. We tested the hypothesis that chemicals can enhance long-term cold storage of a predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot. The research objective was to determine the effect of cryoprotectant...
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This study documents the interaction of two coccinellid-specific ectoparasites, a podapolipid mite Coccipolipus hippodamiae (McDaniel et Morrill) and a laboulbenialean fungus Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter with the lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas). The study objectives were to (1) determine the prevalence and intensity of both parasites and (...
Article
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Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter is an obligate ectoparasitic fungus that parasitizes coccinellids in several countries. It transmits horizontally between coccinellid adults via social contact. The relative abundance of coccinellids in an agroecosystem may affect the transmission dynamics of H. virescens. We predicted that the prevalence and intensit...
Article
Ribosomal ITS2 DNA fragments were sequenced from four Peristenus species, two Leiophron species, and two Lygus species. Specific primers for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification were designed from ITS2 DNA sequences to separate each species from the others. Using this molecular approach, we were able to determine whether Lygus hesperus Kni...
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We observed the avoidance behaviour of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera Coccinelli- dae), when adults were exposed to terpenoids derived from catnip oil and grapefruit seed. In replicated laboratory bioassays, bee- tles avoided contact with volatiles emanating from 1 x 9 cm filter paper strips by trying to...
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A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine the impact of sting frequency on progeny production of Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a solitary, koinobiont endoparasitoid of noctuid pests. In replicated trials, young, mated, host-deprived C. marginiventris females were exposed to three Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Le...
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Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the impact of feeding status and maternal age on egg load of Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a solitary, koinobiont endoparasitoid of noctuid pests. Egg load was defined as the number of mature (i.e., fully-chorionated) eggs found in the ovaries and oviducts. Significant...
Article
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This work reports the development and use of techniques for characterizing volatile chemicals emitted by the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), in an effort to identify the semiochemicals involved in establishment and persistence of overwintering beetle aggregations. Volatiles emitted from live b...
Article
Full-text available
Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter (Laboulbeniales: Laboulbeniaceae) is a parasitic fungus that infects lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) via horizontal transmission between adults at overwintering and feeding sites. The differential behavior of male and female hosts could have profound effects on intensity of infection and positioning of fungus...
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The egg load of lab-cultured Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a solitary koinobiont endoparasitoid of noctuid caterpillars, was determined in this study. Information on egg load may provide clues to more efficient in vivo rearing of C. marginiventris. I tested the hypothesis that egg load, defined as the number of mature...
Article
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Anaphes iole Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is a solitary egg parasitoid of Lygus bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae) in North America. Circumstantial evidence suggests that A. iole females are strictly proovigenic. This study was designed to determine if honey-fed A. iole females could in fact mature additional eggs if exposed to hosts for a few days th...
Article
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The coccinellid-specific parasitic fungus Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter was found on the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), in fall and winter in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Research objectives were 1) to determine the density of H. virescens on field-collected H. axyridis adults held in the laboratory, and 2) to determi...
Article
Full-text available
Anaphes iole Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is a solitary egg parasitoid of Lygus bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae) in North America. This research considered factors that might impact the egg load of lab-cultured A .iole females, reared from Lygus hesperus Knight egg patches. The following hypotheses were tested: (1) egg load was related to body size...
Article
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The potential of least-toxic compounds to repel adults of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), was explored. Bioassays in olfactometers and Petri dishes were designed to test the hypothesis that DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) can effectively repel H. axyridis adults. A bioassay in a Y-tub...
Article
Full-text available
Factors that might affect parasitism rate and progeny production of Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson), a solitary endoparasitoid of lepidopteran larvae, were considered in this study. Hosts were Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) la