Effects of the parasitic wasp, coccobius fulvus, on cycad aulacaspis scale, aulacaspis yasumatsui, at Montgomery Botanical Center, Miami, Florida

Christine Wiese, Divina Amalin, Roger Coe

Abstract


Aulacaspis yasumatsui (cycad aulacaspis scale) has been a continual pest of cycads since its introduction into Florida in 1995, attacking many species of cycads including popular ornamentals like Cycas rumphii and C. revoluta. It is now a threat to both the cycad nursery industry and native cycad populations. It has been reported from Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and Guam. Previous research indicates that some available pesticides can help manage this pest. However, they are often not as effective at controlling A. yasumatsui on particularly large or dense plants, where it is difficult to reach the scale with foliar sprays of pesticides. A study was conducted at Montgomery Botanical Center, Miami, Florida to evaluate the effectiveness of the parasitic wasp, Coccobius fulvus, as a biological control agent. Results indicated that the number of parasitoids increased as the number of scale increased despite regular releases of the wasp and that the use of C. fulvus alone as a biological control agent does not provide adequate control of A. yasumatsui. However, the amount of control achieved (51% parasitized scale) may be adequate when combined with appropriate chemical controls as part of an integrated pest management program.

Keywords


biological control; integrated pest management; parasitoid

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283