Parasitoids of obscure mealybug, Pseudococcus viburni (Hem.: Pseudococcidae) in California: Establishment of Pseudaphycus flavidulus (Hym.: Encyrtidae) and discussion of related parasitoid species

  • Daane K
  • Cooper M
  • Triapitsyn S
 et al. 
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To improve natural suppression of the obscure mealybug, Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret), the parasitoids Pseudaphycus flavidulus (Brèthes) and Leptomastix epona (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) of Chilean origin were released in California's Central Coast vineyards from 1997 to 1999. A survey for parasitoids of P. viburni was conducted in the Edna Valley appellation wine grape region from 2005 to 2007, 6-8 years after classical biological control releases were discontinued. Two survey methods were used. First, field collections of obscure mealybugs from commercial vineyard blocks (2005-2007) and, second, placement of "sentinel mealybugs" on potted (1 L) grape vines (2006 only). From both survey methods, P. flavidulus was recovered, albeit levels of parasitism were low (less than 0.6%). We also placed longtailed mealybug, Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti), on potted plants concurrent with placement of sentinel obscure mealybugs in the vineyard in order to measure parasitoid activity on this closely-related mealybug species. No P. flavidulus were recovered from P. longispinus. Other encyrtid parasitoids reared from either P. viburni or P. longispinus were Anagyrus pseudococci (Girault), Leptomastix dactylopii Howard, Leptomastidea abnormis (Girault), Coccidoxenoides perminutus Girault, and Tetracnemoidea peregrina (Compere). A hyperparasitoid, Chaetocerus sp., was also reared. The data are discussed with respect to biological control of vineyard mealybugs and newly developed controls for the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Because Pseudaphycus species reared from mealybugs are superficially very similar a taxonomic key and discussion of host relationships for selected Pseudaphycus species are provided.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Linepithema humile
  • Pseudaphycus
  • Pseudococcus longispinus
  • Pseudococcus viburni
  • Vineyards

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  • Kent M. Daane

  • Monica L. Cooper

  • Serguei V. Triapitsyn

  • John W. Andrews

  • Renato Ripa

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