Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2006
Publication Date: 3/29/2007
Citation: Pickett, C., Coutinot, D., Hoelmer, K.A., Kuhlmann, U., Goulet, H. 2007. Importation of Peristenus spp. for the biological control of Lygus hesperus in California. Journal of Insect Science. 7:16.
Technical Abstract: During the 1980’s Peristenus digoneutis was successfully imported and colonized in alfalfa in the eastern United States for the control of Lygus lineolaris. Although a similar effort was made in the 1970’s in central California, Peristenus spp. failed to establish permanent populations. The reported impact of P. digoneutis on the east coast, and renewed efforts to import Peristenus spp. by Canadians, triggered a renewed and much greater effort to permanently colonize populations of Peristenus collected in Europe for control of L. hesperus, a serious pest of both strawberries and cotton, as well as numerous seed crops in California. Beginning in 1998, P. relictus (formerly P. stygicus) and P. digoneutis were collected from several locations in southern Europe. Both species were released at up to six locations over a 6 year period in central California. More recently, releases have begun in the central coast strawberry growing region. At the original release site in Sacramento, a 0.25 ha plot of alfalfa, both P. digoneutis and P. relictus increased in numbers through 2004, three years after the last releases were made, reaching a high of 90%, in late summer. Parasitoids have been recovered from vacant fields of weedy annuals within 2 km of this site. Peristenus relictus have been recovered one year after last released into wild vegetation bordering commercial strawberries grown near Castroville on the central coast of California.