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Laboratory evaluation of the suitability of vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus, as a host for Leptomastix dactylopii

Marras, Piera Maria and Cocco, Arturo and Muscas, Enrico and Lentini, Andrea (2016) Laboratory evaluation of the suitability of vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus, as a host for Leptomastix dactylopii. Biological Control, Vol. 95 , p. 57-65. ISSN 1049-9644. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2016.01.007

Abstract

Planococcus ficus (Signoret) is a key pest of grapevines and can cause severe crop losses in table and wine grape cultivars. In order to explore the potential of annual inoculative releases of Leptomastix dactylopii Howard against the vine mealybug, laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the suitability of P. ficus as a host for the parasitoid. The biological performance of L. dactylopii on P. ficus was examined in choice and no-choice tests, and compared with its performance on the primary host, Planococcus citri (Risso). Planococcus ficus supported complete development of the parasitoid with higher than 86% survival rates and a lower than 5% effective encapsulation. The low rates of encapsulation and host-feeding and high survivorship make P. ficus a suitable host for L. dactylopii in mass rearing facilities. In the choice test, parasitoids reared on P. ficus, or with prior oviposition experience on this species, preferred it over P. citri. Unexpectedly, parasitoids reared on P. citri, or with prior oviposition experience on this species, did not show any preference for either mealybug species. Our findings highlight a potential innate preference of L. dactylopii for the vine mealybug and indicate that this innate preference can be modified by the rearing host and early oviposition experiences. Thus, mass rearing of L. dactylopii on P. ficus would increase its preference for the target pest, with a positive impact on biological control programs against the vine mealybug.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:11261
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Oviposition experience, host preference, encapsulation, Encyrtidae, Planococcus citri, Pseudococcidae
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/11 Entomologia generale e applicata
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Agraria
Publisher:Academic Press inc. Elsevier Science
ISSN:1049-9644
Deposited On:18 Mar 2016 09:03

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