Photo of Naomi Cappuccino

Naomi Cappuccino

Associate Professor (retired)

Degrees:B.A. (Brown), Ph.D. (Cornell)
Website:Visit my Lily Leaf Beetle Tracker page


Biological control uses natural enemies to combat pest species. Generally these pest species are exotic organisms that have been introduced to North America, leaving their natural enemies behind in their original range. Biological control involves scouting for natural enemies that can be introduced in the new range to control the pest. It is generally considered to be a more environmentally friendly way to control pests and can reduce the need for pesticide applications that can be harmful to humans and other organisms. However, many people are justifiably wary of introducing one exotic species to control another, given a few high-profile biological control disasters—think cane toads in Australia—dating from an earlier time when biological control was virtually unregulated. Since the 1900’s, however, biological control introductions in Canada are strictly regulated and potential agents are now carefully scrutinized.

Work in my lab, in collaboration with colleagues at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Central Experimental Farm, involves the biological control of insect pests of agricultural crops and garden plants using introduced parasitic insects, and the control of invasive weeds using plant-feeding insects.

Over the next few field seasons, we will be focusing in particular on the biological control of the lily leaf beetle. Introduced from Europe, this bright red beetle was once considered mainly as a pest of cultivated lilies. However, now that it has been reported feeding on populations of native lilies, some of which are classified as species-at-risk, controlling the beetle has become a priority. We have introduced a parasitic wasp to control the lily leaf beetle, and have petitioned for permission to release a second species. These highly specialized wasps do not sting and will attack only the lily leaf beetle.

Selected Publications

Murdoch, V.J., Cappuccino, N. and Mason, P.G. 2013. The effects of periodic warming on the survival and fecundity of Diadromus pulchellus during long-term storage. Biocontrol Science and Technology 23:211-219.

Jenner, W.H., Kuhlmann, U. , Cappuccino, N. and Mason, P.G. 2012. Manipulation of parasitoid state influences host exploitation by Diadromus pulchellus Wesmael (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Biological Control 63: 264-269.

Abram, P.K., Haye, T., Mason, P.G., Cappuccino, N., Boivin, G. and Kuhlmann, U. 2012. Identity, distribution, and seasonal phenology of parasitoids of the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Kieffer) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in Europe. Biological Control 62:197-205.

Abram, P.K., Haye, T., Mason, P.G., Cappuccino, N., Boivin, G. and Kuhlmann, U. 2012. Biology of Synopeas myles, a parasitoid of the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, in Europe. BioControl  57:789-800.

Doubleday, L.A.D. and Cappuccino, N. 2011. Simulated herbivory reduces seed production in Vincetoxicum rossicumBotany 89:235-242.

Jenner, W.H., Kuhlmann, U., Cappuccino, N. and Mason, P.G. 2010.  Pre-release analysis of the overwintering capacity of a classical biological control agent supporting prediction of establishment.  BioControl 55:351-362.

Jenner, W.H., Mason, P.G., Cappuccino, N. and Kuhlmann U. 2010. Native range assessment of classical biological control agents: impact of inundative releases as pre-introduction evaluation. Bulletin of Entomological Research 100:387-394.

Jenner, W.H., Kuhlmann, U., Mason, P.G and Cappuccino, N.  2010.  Comparative life tables of leek moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae), in its native range. Bulletin of Entomological Research 100:87-97.

Norman, K. Cappuccino, N. and Forbes, M. R. 2009.  Effect of host and site characteristics on parasitism of a successful weed biological control agent, Neogalerucella calmariensisCanadian Entomologist 141:609-613.

Jogesh, T., Carpenter, D., and Cappuccino, N. 2008.  Herbivory on invasive exotic plants and their non-invasive relatives.  Biological Invasions 10:797-804.

Mogg, C., Petit, P., Cappuccino, N., Durst, T., McKague, C., Foster, M., Yack, J. E., Arnason, J. T. and Smith, M. L.  2008.  Tests of the antibiotic properties of the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum against bacteria, fungi and insects.  Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 36:383-391.

Allison J, Jenner W, Cappuccino N and Mason, P. G. 2007.  Oviposition and feeding preference of Acrolepiopsis assectella Zell. (Lep., Acrolepiidae).  Journal of Applied Entomology 131:690-697.

Ernst, C., Cappuccino, N. and Arnason, J. T.  2007. Potential novel hosts for the lily leaf beetle Lilioceris lilii Scopoli (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae) in eastern North America.  Ecological Entomology 32:45-52.

Cappuccino, N. and Arnason, J. T. 2006.  Novel chemistry of invasive exotic plants.  Biology Letters 2: 189-193.