Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2016
Publication Date: 9/25/2016
Citation: Lapointe, S.L. 2016. Classical biological control of cassava pests in Latin America and Africa. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Paper No. 3795. doi:10.1603/ICE.2016.93558.
Technical Abstract: Anthony (Tony) Bellotti’s career took him to El Salvador with the Peace Corps in 1962, New Mexico State for a Masters, Paraguay (again with the Peace Corps), Cornell University for a Ph.D., and Colombia where he worked for the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) from 1974 until his passing in March, 2013 in Naples, Florida. Tony became a passionate advocate of cassava, and one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on the entomology of that orphan crop that sustains millions of the world’s poorest populations. Tony played a crucial role in one of the most often cited and successful examples of classical biological control, the introduction of a parasitoid wasp from Paraguay to control the cassava mealybug throughout a broad area of Africa known as the Cassava Belt. During the 1990’s, we also introduced parasitoids of the cassava mealybug from northern South America into northeastern Brazil. The results of these introductions are presented to illustrate a theory of periodic local extinction of natural enemies under the climatic conditions of northeastern Brazil after the elimination of the Atlantic rainforest biome.