Quarantine Evaluation of Parasitoids Imported into the USA for Biocontrol of Bemisia tabaci Biotype B
A total of 38 exotic and 2 native parasitoid populations of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B, were evaluated in pre-release quarantine efficacy tests. Numbers of B. tabaci parasitized were counted in sleeve cages on cantaloupe melons (Cucumis melo ‘Perlita’), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum ‘Delta Pine 51’), and broccoli (Brassica oleracea ‘Patriot’). Highest attack rates were found for Encarsia sp. nr. pergandiella (Brazil) and Eretmocerus mundus (Spain) on melons; Eretmocerus hayati (Pakistan) on cotton; and Eretmocerus mundus (Spain) on broccoli. In the laboratory, these three exotic parasitoids attacked significantly greater numbers of hosts than the native species of Encarsia pergandiella and Eretmocerus tejanus. This information was used to prioritize parasitoid species for mass rearing and release in biocontrol-based IPM programs against B. tabaci. The quarantine tests proved to be a good indicator of efficacy in the field.
KeywordsNatural Enemy Parasitoid Species Biological Control Program Field Cage Parasitoid Population
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