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Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Tactics to Manage Invasive Insect Pests and Weeds

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: A host-parasitoid model for Aspidiotus rigidus (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) and Comperiella calauanica (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae)

item Palen, Dave - University Of The Philippines
item Almarinez, Billy - De La Salle University
item Amalin, Davina - De La Salle University
item Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie
item David, Guido - University Of The Philippines

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2018
Publication Date: 10/27/2018
Citation: Palen, D.I., Almarinez, B.J., Amalin, D.M., Legaspi, J.C., David, G. 2018. A host-parasitoid model for Aspidiotus rigidus (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) and Comperiella calauanica (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) . Environmental Entomology.

Interpretive Summary: The coconut scale insect has become a serious threat to the Philippine coconut industry by decreasing crop yield and quality, and often killing the trees. A new species of parasitic wasp was discovered that attacks the scale insect with high levels of field parasitism. A scientist at the USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Tallahassee, FL, in collaboration with those at the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, used accumulated biological data to create a mathematical model of the host-parasite interaction to explore the possible use of the parasitic wasp as a biological control agent of coconut scale. The analysis suggests that both host and parasite populations will collapse only if the death rate of the coconut scale insect is greater than its birth rate. Additional simulations predicted that high release rates of the parasitic wasp could result in a stable system with control of the scale insects below economically damaging levels. Validation of model requires further collection of biological data and to improve the accuracy of the model predictions under field conditions.

Technical Abstract: The outbreak of the coconut scale insect Aspidiotus rigidus posed a serious threat to the coconut industry in the Philippines. In this work, we modeled the interaction between Aspidiotus rigidus and its parasitoid Comperiella calauanica as a system of ordinary differential equations where Holling type III functional response was considered. The equilibrium points were determined, and their local stability were examined. A biological control method by liberation of high density of parasitoid population was investigated. Numerical simulations showed that Comperiella calauanica may control the population density of Aspidiotus rigidus below the economic injury level.