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Suppression of Anthonomus eugenii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) pepper fruit infestation with releases of Catolaccus hunteri (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)

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The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, is an important pest of Capsicum spp. pepper in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Central America. Catolaccus hunteri Crawford is the most abundant parasitoid attacking pepper weevil larvae in Florida. Weekly releases of C. hunteri at a rate of 1600 adults per 0.2-ha plot in organically-grown bell pepper, C. annuum L., beginning at first bloom resulted in fewer weevil infested fruit compared to 0.2-ha plots where no parasitoids were released. Weekly releases of C. hunteri adults on nightshade, Solanum americanum Mill, during the fall/winter off-season followed by weekly releases of the same parasitoid in adjacent bell pepper during the spring in-season resulted in fewer infested pepper fruit compared to off-season nightshade and in-season pepper where no parasitoids were released. The results of these experiments demonstrate the potential of augmentative releases of C. hunteri for suppressing infestations of pepper fruit by pepper weevil larvae.
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Keywords: Anthonomus eugenii; Catolaccus hunteri; Pepper weevil; biological control

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Gulf Coast Research & Education Center, University of Florida, Wimauma, FL, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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