Post-release survey to assess impact and potential host range expansion by Amitus hesperidum Encarsia perplexa , two parasitoids introduced for the biological control of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi in Dominica
Abstract Four years after the release of two exotic parasitoids, Amitus hesperidum Silvestri (Hymenoptera: Platygasteridae) and Encarsia perplexa Huang and Polaszek (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) for the classical biological control of the citrus blackfly (CBF), Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Dominica, a survey was conducted to assess establishment as well as potential nontarget effects especially on Aleyrodidae and other related taxa. CBF populations were low to non-existent in 50 of 51 field sites examined. At the site where CBF was encountered, both E. perplexa and A. hesperidum were present and CBF populations were declining. The two parasitoids were not among the several species collected on nontarget Aleryodidae and Hemiptera. It is concluded that E. perplexa and A. hesperidum have kept CBF populations under effective biological control in Dominica and there is no evidence of any nontarget effects on other Aleyrodidae or their natural enemies.