|DOBBS, THOMAS - USDA, APHIS,PPQ,MIAMI FL
|Boyd Jr, David
Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2005
Publication Date: 3/1/2006
Citation: Dobbs, T.T., Boyd Jr, D.W. 2006. Status and distribution of montandoniola moraguesi (hemiptera: anthocoridae) in the continental united states. Florida Entomologist. 89: 41-46
Interpretive Summary: An predator of thrips was found in the United States on weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) feeding on pest thrips. Its spread had not been documented. We made collections in all states where ficus could be grown outdoors. We also asked curators of insect museums to check their respective museums to see if they had any specimens. We collected the insect in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. The museum in Louisiana had one specimen of the insect. This information will be used by scientists to try to use the predator in biological control programs, by growers of ficus to try to encourage the predator in their system, and by extension personal and others to be on the look out for this helpful insect.
Technical Abstract: The exotic anthocorid Montandoniola moraguesi (Puton) was intentionally introduced in Hawaii and Bermuda for the control of thrips populations on outdoor plantings of ornamental Ficus. These successful programs resulted in similar efforts to introduce this predator at several locations within the continental United States. Such attempts to establish the bug as a component of biological control systems aimed at thrips pests apparently have been unsuccessful. Our surveys and requests for museum records revealed detections of M. moraguesi in four states; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Circumstances surrounding detections in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi suggest that viable populations do not currently exist in those states. In Florida, M. moraguesi occurs widely wherever outdoor plantings of exotic, ornamental Ficus spp. are found. An updated distribution of M. moraguesi is provided along with field observations and new thrips host records.