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Augmentative Releases of Metaphycus sp. nr flavus Against Citricola Scale on Oranges in the San Joaquin Valley of California: Are Early Releases Better Than Late Ones?

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We conducted an augmentative release trial with the encyrtid parasitoid Metaphycus sp. nr flavus (Howard) against citricola scale, Coccus pseudomagniolarum (Kuwana), in three citrus orchards in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Three parasitoid release timings (14 October–13 November, 4 January–5 February, and 26 February–16 March; hereinafter “early,” “intermediate,” and “late”) were compared with a no-release check. Approximately 2,400 female parasitoids were released per central release tree. Late releases were associated with reduced scale survival on the release trees but no evidence of scale suppression was found on adjacent trees. Early and intermediate releases resulted in less pronounced scale suppression than late releases. Intermediate and late, but not early, releases were associated with an increase in the numbers of recovered female M. sp. nr flavus. Early releases, however, increased the numbers of recovered male Metaphycus spp. Thus, at the time of early releases, the scales may have been too small for the production of female parasitoids. A multiple regression model relating the degree of scale mortality in one orchard to the levels of recovered female Metaphycus helvolus (Compere), M. sp. nr flavus, or M. luteolus (Timberlake) (these latter two species are morphologically indistinguishable), and Coccophagus spp., suggested that the number of Coccophagus spp. females followed by M. helvolus females, were most strongly associated with scale mortality.

Keywords: Citrus sinensis; augmentative biological control; heteronomous hyperparasitoid

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-96.5.1375

Publication date: October 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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