Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2007
Publication Date: 8/11/2007
Citation: Hoelmer, K.A. 2007. Field cage evaluation of introduced Eretmocerus species (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) against Bemisia tabaci strain B (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on Cantaloupe. Biological Control. Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 156-162. Interpretive Summary: Sweetpotato whitefly biotype B (AKA silverleaf whitefly)is a major pest of field, vegetable and greenhouse crops in warm climates around the world. Introduced into the U.S.A. during the late 1980's, outbreaks were first reported in Florida and spread rapidly across the southern U.S.A. The impact of the whitefly was especially severe in agricultural production in the southwestern desert valleys in Arizona and California resulting in major economic losses in cotton, alfalfa, melons, and winter vegetables. Naturally occurring biological control agents were ineffective against this invader. Foreign exploration for new agents was undertaken, and field evaluations of introduced natural enemies were conducted in the Imperial Valley, California, to identify effective new species to establish against the whitefly on cantaloupe, which is a key whitefly host requiring in southwestern desert valley. Evaluations compared parasitic wasps from Spain, India, Israel, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia with the native parasite species. The best-performing species included parasitic wasps from the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia - both regions with very similar climates to the Imperial Valley.
Technical Abstract: Field-cage evaluations of introduced non-indigenous parasitoids in the genera Eretmocerus were conducted during 1997 in the Imperial Valley, California, to identify effective new species or geographic populations for establishment against Bemisia tabaci strain B on cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is a key host crop of B. tabaci biotype B in southwestern desert valleys in the U.S.A. Evaluations compared geographic populations of E. mundus from Spain, India and Israel, E. hayati from Pakistan, E. emiratus from the United Arab Emirates, and E. near emiratus from Ethiopia with the indigenous species E. eremicus. The number of progeny produced per female in the F1 generation was the measurement of efficacy. The best-performing species included Eretmocerus emiratus and/or E. near emiratus from the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia with more than 66 mean progeny per female, and the Israeli and Spanish populations of E. mundus, with 55 and 51 mean progeny, respectively. These species originated in regions with very similar climates to the Imperial Valley.