Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research
Project Number: 2040-43000-018-026-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2023
1) Maintenance of healthy coffee berry borer (CBB) colony in Puerto Rico. 2) Set-up of parasite host-specificity testing and methods development for P. coffea. 3) Study parasitism rates and ecology of Cephalanomia stephanoderis in the field. 4) Apply to obtain the release of well-known parasitoids in Puerto Rico. 5) Introduction and maintenance of new potential parasitoids. 6) Screening, rearing, and evaluation under quarantine conditions the new parasitoids from Africa.
Previously, permits were received for field release of coffee berry borer (CBB) parasitoids into Puerto Rico (2008). These permits will need to be updated according to the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and other regulations. In the meantime, Phymastichus coffea and Prorops nasuta will be shipped from Cenicafé to Puerto Rico and held in quarantine at UPR—CEQUIS quarantine (current permits are in place). Cephalanomia already exists in Puerto Rico and field parasitism rates will be studied. Parasitoid rearing protocols will be developed with the help of Cenicafe and colonies will be established. Host range testing will be conducted with Phymastichus coffea. Once the new permits for field release are in place, parasitoids will be released in sleeve or whole plant enclosures for evaluation of efficiency and performance. Newly collected parasitoids from Africa (by CABI, Kenya) will be brought first into quarantine in Puerto Rico to rear and test for contaminants (e.g. hyperparasitoids).