Combined use of the larvo-pupal parasitoids Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Aganaspis daci for biological control of the medfly
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AuthorDe-Pedro, Luis; Tormos, José; Harbi, Ahlem; Ferrara, Fernando; Sabater-Munoz, Beatriz; Asís, Josep D.; Beitia, Francisco J.
Cita bibliográficade Pedro, L., Tormos, J., Harbi, A., Ferrara, F., Sabater-Munoz, B., Asis, J. D., & Beitia, F. (2019). Combined use of the larvo-pupal parasitoids Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Aganaspis daci for biological control of the medfly. Annals of Applied Biology, 174(1), 40-50.
In biological control programmes, it is very common to employ multiple species to manage a single insect pest. However, the beneficial effects of natural enemies are not always additive because of several factors, including interspecific competition between these biocontrol agents. For this reason, in the present study we assessed several biological parameters (percentage parasitism, fertility, induced mortality and population reduction) of the parasitoids Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Aganaspis daci when used together against the medfly Ceratitis capitata under laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Our results showed that, under laboratory conditions, fertility and percentage parasitism corresponded to a different functional response for each species (D. longicaudata: type II; A. daci: type III), whilst under greenhouse conditions, and unlike what occurs with single releases, both parasitoids showed a type III functional response; this is the only response which may lead to direct density dependence when host densities are low. Our results also revealed that when both species acted together, they produced a very high total percentage parasitism compared to that reported for single releases under both laboratory (64-76%) and greenhouse (21-51%) conditions. The parasitism was also higher for A. daci except when medfly larvae were provided in an artificial diet. Furthermore, host mortality induced by the two parasitoids acting together was very high, especially at low-host densities; medfly population was almost completely reduced under greenhouse conditions. In summary, the data reported here supports the combined use of these species in biological control programmes against the medfly and highlights the importance of several factors, such as climatic conditions and host density, when planning their field releases.