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Host range testing of the nearctic beneficial parasitoid Neodryinus typhlocybae

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:G. Strauss
Keywords:Classical biological control, Directnon-target effect, Dryinidae, Flatidae, Host specificity, Introduced natural enemy, Parasitoid, Pre-release evaluation, Risk assessment

Neodryinus typhlocybae (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Dryinidae) is a natural enemy of the planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Hemiptera: Flatidae), introduced from North America into Europe and regionally established as a pest species. Prior to possible utilization of the parasitoid as a biocontrol agent in Austria, its potential negative impacts on eight native plant- and leaf-hopper species were examined in the laboratory. Non-target species were selected according to the following criteria (a) occurrence in Austria, (b) close phylogenetic relationship with M. pruinosa, (c) larvae free-living and surface-dwelling, (d) phenology, (e) larval size, (f) ecological similarity with M. pruinosa and (g) availability of sufficient numbers of individuals. The Auchenorrhyncha species Issus coleoptratus (Fabricius), Chloriona smaragdula (Stål), Conomelus anceps (Germar), Alebra wahlbergi (Boheman), Empoasca sp., Idiocerus stigmaticalis (Lewis), Macrosteles septemnotatus (Fallén) and Japananus hyalinus (Osborn) were chosen for testing. Larvae from both the target and the non-target species were offered separately to N. typhlocybae females in no-choice laboratory tests and all attacks, instances of host feeding and parasitizations were recorded. No non-target species was attacked, fed upon or parasitized by N. typhlocybae, whereas M. pruinosa was attacked frequently. This study supports the assumption that the host range of N. typhlocybae is restricted to Flatidae, of which only the introduced species occurs in Austria. Direct negative effects on other Auchenorryncha species in Austria are therefore unlikely to occur.

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