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Establishment and dispersal of the parasitoids Ageniaspis citricola Logvinovskaya (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and Semielacher petiolatus Girault (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), introduced into Tunisia for the biological control of Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)



Establishment and dispersal of the parasitoids Ageniaspis citricola Logvinovskaya (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and Semielacher petiolatus Girault (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), introduced into Tunisia for the biological control of Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)



International Journal of Pest Management 52(4): 353-363



A programme for the biological control of the citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) was carried out in Tunisia between 1996 and 1998. Two exotic parasitoids, Ageniaspis citricola (Logvinovskaya) (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae) and Semielacher petiolatus Girault (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae), were introduced from Australia, mass-reared in a greenhouse on Citrus aurantium L. seedlings infested with P. citrella, and released in different orchards located in the major citrus-growing area of Tunisia. In 1996, A. citricola was recovered in 39.13% of release sites, reaching a maximum percentage of parasitism of 28%. In 1997, the parasitoid was recovered in a third of all release points, with an average percentage of parasitism of 5%. However, the wasp was unable to survive the winter 1998, and has become extinct. The non-establishment of A. citricola may have been due to the more and climatic conditions present during the rainless summer and most of the autumn in Tunisia. By contrast, the establishment, dispersal, and reduction in citrus leafminer population observed with S. petiolatus between 1997 and 1998 shows this species to be well-adapted to the Tunisian climate. The average percentage parasitism of P. citrella by S. petiolatus increased from 6.6% in 1997 to 15% in 1998. Moreover, S. petiolatus was established in 76% of release points in 1997 and in 82% in 1998. It spread as much as 30 km from some release points, with no apparent decline in parasitism levels with distance. Semielacher petiolatus is considered to be an effective biological control of the leafminer in Tunisia. Its biological control action would supplement the action of the native parasitoids Pnigalio sp. and Cirrospilus pictus Nees (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae).

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Accession: 012786337

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DOI: 10.1080/09670870600914259


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