Interactions between Phaedrotoma scabriventris Nixon (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Diglyphus isaea Walker (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), parasitoids of Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) (Diptera: Agromyzidae)
Van den Berg, J.
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Liriomyza leafminer flies represent a serious threat to horticultural production in East Africa. Total field parasitism rates recorded in Kenya are below 5%, with the indigenous ectoparasitoid Diglyphus isaea Walker being one of the key parasitoid species. The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), in collaboration with the International Potato Centre (CIP), imported into Kenya the endoparasitoid Phaedrotoma scabriventris Nixon to improve natural control of leafminers. The objective of this study was to investigate the interactions between D. isaea and P. scabriventris when used together for the biological control of Liriomyza species. These interactions were studied under laboratory conditions, using treatments that involved single, simultaneous and sequential releases of the different parasitoid species onto plants infested by L. huidobrensis larvae. While used separately, parasitism rates of D. isaea and P. scabriventris were 30.4 ± 10.9% and 63.6 ± 7.7% respectively. However, when used simultaneously, the total parasitism rate increased to 77.0 ± 5.3%. Although P. scabriventris had no effect on D. isaea, the presence of D. isaea reduced the specific parasitism rate of P. scabriventris. In addition, both parasitoids induced leafminer mortality through larval-feeding and stinging. However, feeding and stinging mortality induced by D. isaea (41.9 ± 9.1%) was significantly higher compared to P. scabriventris (11.9 ± 8.7). Similarly, pupal mortality due to feeding and stinging activity was 49.1 ± 6.5% and 21.6 ± 1.9% when exposed to D. isaea and P. scabriventris respectively. The implication for simultaneous use of both parasitoids in East Africa is discussed