Effect of oil emulsion sprays on parasitoids of the black parlatoria, Parlatoria ziziphi, in grapefruit

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Abstract

The black parlatoria, Parlatoria ziziphi, a common pest of citrus in the tropics and subtropics, has become the most important citrus pest in Upper Egypt. Spray oils may be a relatively safe alternative to harmful synthetic insecticides. However, the effect of spray oils on black parlatoria and associated parasitoids is unknown. Field studies were conducted in Giza, Egypt to assess the effect of two experimental spray oils on P. ziziphi and three associated parasitoid species on grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). Triona oil was more effective than Shecrona oil and reduced scale populations by up to 99% 75 days after application. The parasitoid Encarsia citrina was not affected significantly by either spray oil. Triona oil was slightly harmful to the other primary parasitoid, Habrolepis aspidioti and reduced parasitism rate by Marietta leopardina. However, because the latter species is a hyperparasitoid, the reduction in its number by Triona was beneficial. Triona application is therefore highly effective in controlling the black parlatoria and it reduced the rate of hyperparasitism by M. leopardina. The oils had only a minor negative impact and only on the less important primary parasitoid in the system.

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