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Biological Control of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Argentina: Releases of Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Fruit-Producing Semi-Arid Areas of San Juan

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2014.69066    3,711 Downloads   5,313 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) is one of the major pests of fruit crops in Argentina and it is a phytosanitary barrier to the export of fresh fruits. In the Province of San Juan, located in the central-eastern region of Argentina known as Cuyo, control strategies against Medfly in fruit-producing irrigated-valleys have been implemented by the National Fruit Fly Control and Eradication Program (ProCEM) jointly with the provincial government and the producers. This program uses an area-wide integrated pest management approach that includes the use of environment-friendly strategies to suppress or eradicate Medfly, such as the use of the sterile insect technique and the application of new-generation bait sprays, and more recently the release of the Indo-Pacific parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead). This exotic larval-prepupal endoparasitoid is being mass-reared on larvae of Vienna 8 TSL C. capitata strain at the BioPlanta San Juan facility. In this respect, the objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of laboratory-reared D. longicaudata females in order to find and successfully parasitize Medfly larvae in different host fruit species once released under semi-arid environmental conditions in ecologically isolated fruit-growing valleys of San Juan. Ground releases were used to disperse parasitoids in 6 fruit-producing valleys. In total, 40,000 adult parasitoids were released at places with various Medfly host plants bearing fruits and in which no insecticides were regularly applied, such as backyards and small orchards. 119 D. longicaudata adults were recovered from 6 Medfly-infested fruit species that were collected in 5 release sites (Pocito, Zonda, Santa Lucía, Caucete, and Rivadavia). The highest number of parasitoids was recovered from fig, followed by grape, rose, orange, tangerine, and persimmon. Data provided from this study open up the possibility of implementing a parasitoid mass-release program in San Juan.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Suarez, L. , Murua, F. , Lara, N. , Escobar, J. , Taret, G. , Rubio, J. , Nieuwenhove, G. , Bezdjian, L. , Schliserman, P. and Ovruski, S. (2014) Biological Control of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Argentina: Releases of Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Fruit-Producing Semi-Arid Areas of San Juan. Natural Science, 6, 664-675. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.69066.

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