DIVERSITY OF MEALYBUG PARASITOIDS (CHALCIDOIDEA: ENCYRTIDAE) FROM TAMIL NADU
Sucking pest is one of the major threats in Agricultural and Horticultural ecosystems at present, among this mealybug play a crucial role in higher damage. Parasitic Hymenoptera are a viable alternative for chemical pest control especially for this group of insects. Chalcidoidea is one of the entomophagus insects utilized for mealybug management and within Chalcidoidea, members belonging to Encyrtidae play a major role in bringing down their population in nature. In the present study, surveys were conducted to collect different mealybug hosts along with their host plants from various ecosystems. The collected mealybugs were reared under laboratory conditions and observed for possible parasitoid emergence. The following are the major mealybugs collected and parasitoids reared from them.
- Cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Aenasius arizonensis (Girault), Prochiloneurus aegyptiacus (Mercet), Gentakola trifasciata (Saraswat), Promuscidea unfasciativentris )
- Papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink Pseudleptomastix mexicana Noyes and Schauff, Acerophagus papayae Noyes and Schauff.
- Eggplant mealybug, Coccidohystrix insolita (Green) Leptomastix nigrocincta Risbec, nigrocoxalis Compere, Prochiloneurus pulchellus Silvestri, P. aegyptiacus (Mercet), Chartocerus sp. Promuscidea unfasciativentris Girault.
- Citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Rissco) Leptomastix nigrocoxalis
- Striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell) Aenasius advena (Compere), indicus (Narayanan and Subba Rao), Anagyrus indicus (Subba Rao), Blepyrus insularis (Cameron).
- Root mealybug, Formicoccus polysperes Williams: Anagyrus kamali. Blepyrus insularis (Cameron)
In addition, the parasitoids were also recognized at trophic level as to primary or secondary parasitoids apart from recording the entomophagous insects of parasitoids, if any. The host plants, host insects and parasitoids attacking the host insects and entomophages attacking the primary parasitoids are presented in a flowchart depicting the tritrophic relationship for easy understanding by biocontrol workers.
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