Submitted to: Entomophaga
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The corn rootworm insects are the most damaging and expensive pests of corn in North America. Crop losses and control costs attributed to the corn rootworm pests on corn are estimated at $1 billion /year. This pest complex causes an additional $50-100 million/year in damages to cucurbits and other vegetables. As there are no known effective parasites of the corn rootworm in the U.S., for the first time, a new biocontrol agent, Centistes gasseni,was imported from Brazil. It parasitizes the corn rootworm pests in the U.S. The utilization of this new wasp parasite as a major component in IPM programs will provide farmers and researchers alternative control measures that are urgently needed to manage the corn rootworm in the U.S.
Technical Abstract: An undescribed species of Centistes was reared in Brazil from the neotropical leaf beetle, Diabrotica speciosa,and subsequently described as a new species, C. gasseni Shaw. The parasite was imported into the U.S., and,in the laboratory,successfully parasitized the banded cucumber beetle, stripped cucumber beetle, southern and western corn rootworm. Observations on the reearing, biology, mating behavior, host specificity and biocontrol potential are reported.