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Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Arthropod Pests from the Eastern Hemisphere

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Title: Recent progress in a classical biological control program for olive fruit fly in California

item LA SPINA, MICHELANGELO - Vineland Research And Innovation Centre
item DAANE, KENT - University Of California
item WANG, X - University Of California
item KIRK, ALAN - Retired Non ARS Employee
item BLANCHET, ARNAUD - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)
item Hoelmer, Kim
item PICKETTE, CHARLES - California Department Of Food And Agriculture
item Williams, Livy

Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/22/2015
Publication Date: 10/19/2015
Citation: La Spina, M., Daane, K.M., Wang, X., Kirk, A.A., Blanchet, A., Hoelmer, K.A., Pickett, C.H., Williams Iii, L.H. 2015. Recent progress in a classical biological control program for olive fruit fly in California. 9th Spanish Congress of Applied Entomology, Valencia, Spain, 19-23 October 2015. p. 126.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae), causes severe damage to olive production worldwide. Control of olive fruit fly typically relies on pesticides, and under such conditions the impact of natural enemies is relatively low. About 15 years ago, the USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory in Montpellier, France began foreign exploration for natural enemies of this pest. This work led to the discovery and testing of a parasitoid, Psyttalia lounsburyi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) that has potential for suppression of the pest. The release of an adequate number of parasitoids increases the likelihood of establishment; this explains the difficulty we had earlier in the program with poor population establishment. Initial work at EBCL focused on the development of rearing procedures for several species of Psyttalia. During the past decade, development of rearing systems has been successful; recent efforts have focused on maximizing production of P. lounsburyi. During the past two years production of this parasitoid has doubled due to improvements in breeding procedures. During this period, adults were released in 12 locations in California from August to December. Parasitism was monitored before and after the releases of P. lounsburyi. Recovery of parasitoids at three coastal locations suggests the successful establishment of parasitoid populations.