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Molecular and morphological diagnoses of five species of Trichogramma: biological control agents of Chrysodeixis chalcites (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in the Canary Islands

Prospecting for potential natural enemies of the invasive lepidopteran tomato pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) and the banana pest Chrysodeixis chalcites (Esper) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on the Canary Islands archipelago, where no Trichogramma species were previously recorded, has led to the discovery of five distinct species. T. achaeae Nagaraja & Nagarkatti, T. bourarachae Pintureau & Babault, T. euproctidis (Girault) and T. evanescens Westwood are relatively widespread species. The fifth is close to T. brassicae Bezdenko, but differs sufficiently in the sequence of the ITS2 region of ribosomal RNA to warrant further investigation as a species probably new to science. Each species is treated in detail in order to facilitate identification in future using molecular and/or morphological characters, or a combination of both. All species are newly recorded for the Canary Islands, and the distribution of each within the islands and elsewhere is provided. Known host records are given within the Canary Islands and elsewhere. The most common species found, T. achaeae, is already being used in biological control programmes against T. absoluta in mainland Spain and field trials are ongoing to evaluate its effectiveness as a biological control agent of C. chalcites in banana crops.

Authors:   Andrew Polaszek, Paul F. Rugman-Jones, Richard Stouthamer, Estrella Hernandez-Suarez, Tomás Cabello, Modesto del Pino Pérez
Journal:   BioControl
Year:   2011
DOI:   10.1007/s10526-011-9361-y
Publication date:   12-05-2011
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