PLoS ONE (2016) 11 (6 - e0157965)

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Thibaut Malausa, Mathilde Delaunay, Alexandre Fleisch, Géraldine Groussier-Bout, Sylvie Warot, Didier Crochard, Emilio Guerrieri, Gérard Delvare, Giuseppina Pellizzari, M. Bora Kaydan, Nadia Al-Khateeb, Jean-François Germain, Lisa Brancaccio, Isabelle Le Goff, Melissa Bessac, Nicolas Ris and Philippe Kreiter (2016)
Investigating biological control agents for controlling invasive populations of the mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France
PLoS ONE 11 (6 - e0157965)
Abstract: Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus) were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids.
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Database assignments for author(s): Emilio Guerrieri, Nicolas Ris

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
identification/taxonomy
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
identification/taxonomy
surveys/distribution/isolation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Pseudococcus viburni France
Pseudococcus cryptus France
Pseudococcus comstocki France
Pseudococcus comstocki Italy
Pseudococcus comstocki Turkey
Pseudococcus comstocki Japan
Leptomastix epona (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni France
Acerophagus maculipennis (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni France
Clausenia purpurea (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni Japan
Allotropa burrelli (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni Japan
Acerophagus malinus (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni Turkey
Acerophagus malinus (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni Japan
Leptomastidea bifasciata (parasitoid) Pseudococcus viburni France