Phymastichus coffea (parasitoid)

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Phymastichus coffea (parasitoid) LaSalle, 1990

This wasp is a gregarious endoparasitoid of the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei. It has been discovered in West Africa and was introduced into various countries. Initially, it was reared in the U.K. and from there introduced into Mexico (1992) and Colombia (1996), e.g. see Jaramillo et al. (2005). From Colombia, it was sent further to other countries and the parasitoid is now established in many parts of South and Central America, Asia and Africa. Rates of parasitism of >50% have been reported and P. coffea is regarded as an important and efficient biological control agent against the coffee berry borer.

The life cycle lasts around 6 weeks, but the adult wasps live only for a few days. Female wasps are around 1 mm long and males about half that size.