Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2006
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Citation: Ulmer, B.J., Pena, J.E., Lapointe, S.L., Mathurin, G. 2006. The occurrence of parasitoids attacking citrus weevil eggs on St. Lucia. Florida Entomologist 89(3): 407-409. Interpretive Summary: The Caribbean island of St. Lucia was explored for natural enemies of the Diaprepes root weevil, a major pest of citrus and ornamental plants in Florida. Three species of tiny wasp parasitoids that attack root weevil eggs were identified and predation of egg masses by an unknown predator was observed. The egg parasitoids are being studied for possible use as agents of biological control of the Diaprepes weevil in Florida.
Technical Abstract: Three species of hymenopteran egg parasitoid were found attacking citrus weevil eggs on the island of St. Lucia including Haeckeliania sperata Pinto (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), Baryscapus fennahi Schauff, and Quadrastichus haitiensis Gahan (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Overall, 12% of citrus weevil egg masses were parasitized, though parasitism rates as high as 67% were found at some sites. Parasitized egg masses suffered a mean of 93-100% egg mortality depending on which parasitoid was present. Citrus weevils and their egg parasitoids were more abundant within pure stands of citrus than when citrus was grown as part of a polyculture with other crops such as banana. A significant proportion of citrus weevil egg masses were consumed in the field by an unidentified predator.