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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INSECT PESTS OF CROPS IN THE NORTHEASTERN U.S.

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

Title: Exploration in Europe, Importation and Establishment of Parasitoids for Biological Control of Lygus Hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) in California

Authors
item Coutinot, Dominique - USDA ARS EBCL
item Hoelmer, Kim
item Pickett, C - CA DEPT FOOD & AG

Submitted to: Pests in Agriculture International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2005
Publication Date: October 26, 2005
Citation: Coutinot, D., Hoelmer, K.A., Pickett, C.H. 2005. Exploration in Europe, importation and establishment of parasitoids for biological control of Lygus Hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) in California. 2005 7th International Conference on Pests in Agriculture, French Association for Protection of Plants, October 2005, Montpellier, France, available on CD.

Interpretive Summary: Lygus bugs, also known as tarnished plant bugs (TPB), are important insect pests of numerous crops in North America. Lygus bugs also occur in Europe and Asia where they are not generally regarded as major pests. The USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory is involved in a classical biological control program for the discovery of new Eurasian natural enemies of lygus bugs and their introduction into North America. The establishment of the European parasitic wasp species Peristenus digoneutis against TPB in the northeastern U.S. several years ago resulted in new interest in the introduction of new species or biotypes of the wasp genus Peristenus against TPB in other regions of North America. To reduce populations of western TPB, Peristenus digoneutis and P. stygicus were mass-collected in Europe and have been introduced, released and have apparently become established in California.

Technical Abstract: Lygus bugs, Lygus spp., are important insect pests of numerous crops in North America. Lygus species also occur in Europe and Asia, where they are not generally regarded as major pests. The USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory is involved in a classical biological control program for the discovery of new Eurasian natural enemies of lygus bugs and their introduction into North America to improve non-chemical management of Lygus populations. The establishment of the European braconid Peristenus digoneutis against L. lineolaris in the northeastern U.S. several years ago resulted in new interest in the introduction of new species or biotypes of the parasitoid genus Peristenus against Lygus spp. in other regions of North America. To reduce populations of western TPB, Peristenus digoneutis and P. stygicus were mass-collected in Spain and France, shipped to the U.S. and were released beginning in 1998, and have apparently become established in California. In May 2000, Peristenus was recovered at the first release site in central California. Each subsequent year parasitism levels have climbed at this location, reaching a high of 60 percent in 2002, 75 percent in 2003 and 90 percent in 2004. Both P. stygicus and P. digoneutis were recovered, over 16 months since the last releases were made at this location.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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