Diversity and Distribution of Parasitoids of Anthonomus eugenii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) from Mexico and Prospects for Biological Control

Esteban Rodríguez-Leyva, Philip A. Stansly, David J. Schuster, Ernesto Bravo-Mosqueda

Abstract


A survey of parasitoids of the pepper weevil (Anthonomus eugenii Cano), one of the most important pests of peppers in North America, was conducted in Mexico as part of a search for biological control agents of this pest. Surveys were conducted in different years on the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts in Mexico. We recovered parasitoid species belonging to 7 genera: Triaspis eugenii Wharton & López-Martínez, Urosigalphus sp., Bracon spp.; Catolaccus hunteri Crawford; Eurytoma spp.; Eupelmus sp.; and Ceratoneura sp. The latter species might be a newly recorded genus for this pest. Catolaccus hunteri, T. eugenii, and Urosigalphus sp. represented 96% of all recovered specimens. Triaspis eugenii was collected only in Nayarit, and Urosigalphus sp. predominated in Oaxaca; both locations are on the Pacific Coast. Catolaccus hunteri was present at every sample site. The biology of the braconids T. eugenii and Urosigalphus sp. would seem to make them best suited for biological control of pepper weevil due to their presumed host specificity and habit of attacking the host egg.

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