Seasonal trends, sampling plans and parasitoid complex of the Chinese wax scale, Ceroplastes sinensis Del Guercio (Hemiptera: Coccidae), in Mediterranean citrus groves
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Seasonal trends and the parasitoid complex of Chinese wax scale (Ceroplastes sinensis) was studied from July 2010 to February 2013. Six commercial citrus groves located in northeastern Spain were sampled fortnightly. Chinese wax scale completed a single annual generation. Egg oviposition started in May and continued until mid-July. Egg hatching began in mid-June, and in the first quarter of August, the maximum percentage of hatched eggs was reached. In the same groves, the parasitoid species of C. sinensis were determined together with their seasonal trends, relative abundance and occurrence on C. sinensis. Four hymenoptera were found parasitizing C. sinensis, mainly on third instars and females: Coccophagus ceroplastae (Aphelinidae), Metaphycus helvolus (Encyrtidae), Scutellista caerulea (Pteromalidae) and Aprostocetus ceroplastae (Eulophidae). The most abundant species was A. ceroplastae, corresponding to 54% of the parasitoids emerged. Coccophagus ceroplastae and M. helvolus represented 19%, whereas S. caerulea comprised 8% of the total. This study is the first published record of C. ceroplastae in Spain and the first record of M. helvolus on C. sinensis in Spain. Concerning the economical thresholds normally used, sampling plans developed for the management of C. sinensis in citrus groves should target population densities of around 12-20% of invaded twigs, equivalent to 0.2-0.5 females per twig. The sample size necessary to achieve the desired integrated pest management precision is 90-160 twigs per grove for the enumerative plan and about 160-245 twigs per grove for the binomial plan.