Armored scales (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are important pests in citrus orchards worldwide. Augmentative releases of Aphelinidae wasps (Hymenoptera) have been performed in Corsica, France to control the California Red Scale (Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell, 1879)) and the arrowhead scale (Unaspis yanonensis (Kuwana, 1923)), but biological control of armored scales requires the identification of their parasitoids to evaluate their potential as biological control agents. In order to circumvent this issue, parasitoids emerging from four armored scale species were characterized through DNA barcoding. All the parasitoids identified belong to the Aphelinidae (Hymenoptera) and included a total of five Aphytis (including A. melinus), four Encarsia (including cryptic species) and one Ablerus (hyperparasitoid) species. Host-specificity was found to be strong among primary parasitoids, with Encarsia inquirenda Silvestri, 1930 and an unidentified Encarsia being the sole taxa able to parasitize the two subfamilies (Aspidiotinae and Diaspidinae).
Diaspididae, Armored scale, Parasitoid, DNA barcoding, Cryptic species
Correa, M.C.G., Palero, F., Dubreuil, N., Etienne, L., Hulak, M., Tison, G., Warot, S., Crochard, D., Ris, N., and Kreiter, P. (2016). Molecular characterization of parasitoids from armored scales infesting citrus orchards in Corsica, France. BioControl 61, 639–647.DOI: 10.1007/s10526-016-9752-1