Tamarixia radiata (parasitoid)

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Tamarixia radiata, top: female, bottom: male (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Patrícia Milano
Source: Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 2016, art. 5

Tamarixia radiata (parasitoid) (Waterston, 1922) - (Asian citrus psyllid parasitoid)

The wasp is an important parasitoid of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) and is native to some parts of Asia. It has been successfully introduced into several countries as a biological control agent against this pest, e.g. into south-eastern North America around 2000. In some countries, it was apparently inadvertently introduced. The current distribution matches approximately that of its host. It has a high host specificity and few non-target effects can be expected from its release.

The adult wasps feed on nectar and females also feed on psyllid nymphs. By feeding and parasitisation a female kills up to 500 nymphs during its life. T. radiata is an idiobiont ectoparasitoid (the host is paralysed and stops its development). It develops underneath a psyllid nymph sucking its blood and goes through 4 larval stages. The total development time from egg to adult takes 2-3 weeks.

The adult is black with lighter legs and around 1 mm long. Males and females have a similar appearance with few morphological differences apart from the structure of the antennae.

For a review see Chen and Stansly, 2014.