Submitted to: Redia Journal of Zoology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/21/2007
Publication Date: 7/15/2007
Citation: Martinez, M., Coutinot, D., Hoelmer, K.A., Denis, J. 2007. Suitability of European tachinid parasitoids of Lobesia botrana (Den.& Schiff.) and Eupoecilia ambiguella (Hubner) for introduction against Endopiza viteana (Clemens) in North America. Redia Journal of Zoology 2006. 89:87-97. Interpretive Summary: The grape berry moth, Endopiza viteana, is native to eastern North America, where it can be a serious pest of grapes. Pesticide resistance and loss of registrations have increased interest in alternative management methods, including biological control. Parasitism by native North American natural enemies is inadequate to suppress populations, so we investigated the potential for importing European natural enemies that attack the related European grape berry moths Lobesia botrana and Eupoecilia ambiguella. As a first step in this process, we reviewed the host specificity of parasitic flies known to attack the European grape berry moths. An extensive search of scientific literature revealed that none of these flies would likely be regarded as suitable for introduction to the USA against grape berry moth due to their lack of host specificity and to the minimal impact they exert on the European berry moths in cultivated grapes. We concluded, however, that it may be worthwhile to survey populations of the two European grape berry moths more thoroughly than has been done so far, as this might reveal species of natural enemies not yet reported that are more specialized and that exert more impact under natural conditions.
Technical Abstract: The grape berry moth, Endopiza viteana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is native to eastern North America. It can be a serious pest of grapes in cultivation in this region. In recent years, pesticide resistance and loss of pesticide registrations have increased interest in biological control of the moth. Parasitism by native North American natural enemies is inadequate to suppress populations. In North America, parasitic tachinid flies are missing from the guild of berry moth natural enemies, whereas a number of tachinid species are recorded attacking European berry moths. Consequently, we investigated the potential suitability of European tachinid parasitoids that attack the related and ecologically comparable grape berry moths, Lobesia botrana and Eupoecilia ambiguella, in Europe. As a first step in this process, we conducted an evaluation of the host specificity of the seven species of tachinid flies reported to parasitize the European grape berry moth. An extensive bibliographic search revealed that all seven species have been reported to attack numerous ledidopteran hosts in several to many different families. None of the tachinids attacking the European berry moths would be regarded as suitable for introduction to the USA against E. viteana because of their relative lack of host specificity, the low rate of parasitism reported in nature, or previous experiences of unsuccessful release. We concluded, however, that it may be worthwhile to survey populations of the two European grape berry moths more extensively than has been done to date, as this might reveal species of tachinid parasitoids not yet reported that are more specialized and more abundant under natural conditions.