Biological control on insect pests in citrus orchards in Greece


Abstract: Cases of biological control application against insect pests of citrus in Greece are referred. These applications were implemented to control Hemiptera (Homoptera) pests on citrus, such as aphids, whiteflies and scale insects of the families Margarodidae, Diaspididae, Coccidae and Pseudococcidae. The first recorded case of classical biological control is the introduction of Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) for controlling the fluted scale Icerya purchasi Maskell between 1910-1913. Later, between the years 1962-1972, five hymenopteran parasitoid species were introduced to control the red scale Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell). Another case of biological control of scale insects was the augmentative release of insectary-reared predator Rhyzobius forestieri Mulsant during 1983-1992, which was used against the soft scales Saissetia oleae (Olivier) and Coccus pseudomagnoliarum Kuwana. The predators Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (in 1970 and 1991-92), Nephus reunioni (Fursh) (in 1970), N. anomus (Mulsant) and N. quadrimaculatus (Herbst) (in 1991-92) were reared massively in insectary and were used against the mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso). The predators Rhyzobius lophanthae Blaisdell and Chilocorus bipustulatus L. were reared and argumentatively released against the armored scale Lepidosaphes gloverii (Packard) during 2001-2003. As far as whiteflies is concerned, Encarsia lahorensis (Howard) and Cales noacki Howard were introduced to control Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead) and Aleurothrixus floccosus (Maskell), respectively. The predator Harmonia axyridis Pallas was introduced from France and was used against aphid pests.

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