n African Entomology - Aphytis chionaspis (Hymenoptera : Aphelinidae), a parasitoid introduced to South Africa from Thailand for the control of mango scale, Aulacaspis tubercularis (Hemiptera : Diaspididae) : short communication
|Article Title||Aphytis chionaspis (Hymenoptera : Aphelinidae), a parasitoid introduced to South Africa from Thailand for the control of mango scale, Aulacaspis tubercularis (Hemiptera : Diaspididae) : short communication|
|© Publisher:||Entomological Society of South Africa (ESSA)|
|Author||O.C. Neser and G.L. Prinsloo|
|Publication Date||Sep 2001|
|Pages||199 - 201|
The mango scale Aulacaspis tubercularis (Newstead), which is of Asian origin, is a widespread pest throughout the mango-producing areas of South Africa, where it causes considerable losses to the export industry because of its cosmetic damage to fruit. Through an initiative of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) - Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ITSC), several attempts at introducing parasitoids for the biological control of this pest in South Africa were made during 1992-1995 (Labuschagne & De Beer 1995). This entailed a search for parasitoids in Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Singapore and Malaysia that yielded at least four unidentified species of the genus Aphytis. This is an important group of primary ecto-parasitoids of diaspidid scale insects. None of these species could, however, be reared successfully in quarantine. Subsequently, a consignment of parasitized mango scales imported from Thailand in 1995 yielded yet another unidentified species of Aphytis. This species was successfully propagated in quarantine, initially at ARC - Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI), Pretoria and later at the facilities of ITSC in Nelspruit (Labuschagne et al. 1996).
The purpose of this study was to determine the identity of the species from Thailand, which was previously referred to in the literature as 'Aphytis sp.' and which has since become established in South Africa after it was released at various localities in the mango-growing areas of Mpumalanga and the Northern Province during 1996-1997 (Labuschagne et al. 1996; Daneel & Dreyer 1997). The species has subsequently been identified as A. chionaspis Ren, which was originally described from China as a parasitoid of the diaspidid Chionaspis cinnamomicola (Takahashi) (Ren 1988). A diagnosis and comments on its placement within the A. lingnanensis group of species are provided here to facilitate the recognition of this poorly known parasitoid, that was hitherto known only from its type material, which has been lost.
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