Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2005
Publication Date: 12/4/2007
Citation: Goolsby, J., Legaspi, B., Legaspi, J.C. 2007. Quarantine evaluation of parasitoids imported into the U.S. for Bemisia tabaci biotype "B". In: Gould, J., Hoelmer, K.A., Goolsby, J.A., editors. Classical Biological Control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States - A Review of Interagency Research and Implementation. Vol. 4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. p. 121-128.
Interpretive Summary: The silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, is an invasive pest of agriculture in the USA and worldwide. This pest invaded the USA in the mid-90s and quickly reached damaging population levels in field crops in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. A biological control program was initiated by USDA to control silverleaf whitefly. Exploration was conducted worldwide to discover and collect beneficial insects for shipment to the USA for the biological control project. The beneficial insects were tested prior to release to determine which species were the most effective against silverleaf whitefly infesting the major crops, cotton, broccoli, and cantaloupe melons. Four parasitoid species performed best in the studies. These species also performed well in the field which showed that pre-release tests were useful at predicting the most effective beneficial insects.
Technical Abstract: A total of 38 exotic and 2 native parasitoid populations of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B, were evaluated in pre-release quarantine efficacy tests. Numbers of B. tabaci parasitized were counted in sleeve cages on cantaloupe melons (Cucumis melo‘Perlita’), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum ‘Delta Pine 51’), and broccoli (Brassica oleracea ‘Patriot’). Highest attack rates were found for Encarsia sp. nr. pergandiella (Brazil) and Eretmocerus mundus (Spain) on melons; Eretmocerus hayati (Pakistan) on cotton; and Eretmocerus mundus (Spain) on broccoli. In the laboratory, these three exotic parasitoids attacked significantly greater numbers of hosts than the native species of Encarsia pergandiella and Eretmocerus tejanus. This information was be used to be prioritize parasitoid species for mass rearing and release in biocontrol-based IPM programs against B. tabaci. The quarantine tests proved to be a good indicator of efficacy in the field.