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Natural enemies of Paropsis atomaria Olivier (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in south-eastern Queensland eucalypt plantations

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A field survey for natural enemies of Paropsis atomaria was conducted at two south-eastern Queensland Eucalyptus cloeziana plantation sites during 2004–2005. Primary egg and larval parasitoids and associated hyperparasitoids were identified to genus or species, and parasitism rates were determined throughout the season. Predators were identified to family level but their impact was not quantified. P. atomaria adults were also examined as potential hosts for parasitic mites and nematodes. An undescribed species of Neopolycystus (Pteromalidae) was the major primary egg parasitoid species reared from egg batches, parasitising half of all egg batches collected. Three hyperparasitoid species (Baeoanusia albifunicle (Encyrtidae), Neblatticida sp. (Encyrtidae) and Aphaneromella sp. (Platygasteridae) were present, representing around one-quarter to one-third of all emergent wasps; this is the first host association record for Neopolycystus–B. albifunicle. In contrast to populations of P. atomaria from the Australian Capital Territory, primary larval parasitism was very low, around 1%, and attributable only to the tachinid flies Anagonia sp. and Paropsivora sp. However, the presence of the sit-and-wait larval hyperparasitoid, Perilampus sp. (Perilampidae) was high, emerging from around 17% of tachinid pupae, with planidia infesting a further 40% of unparasitised hosts. Three species of podapolipid mites parasitised sexually mature P. atomaria adults, while no nematodes were found in this study. Spiders were the most common predators and their abundance was positively correlated with P. atomaria adult and egg numbers. Although natural enemy species composition was identical between our two study sites, significant differences in abundance and frequency were found between sites.
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Keywords: Eucalyptus cloeziana; Neopolycystus; paropsine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Natural Resource Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia. 2: Horticulture and Forestry Science, Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries, Gate 3 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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