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DIVERSITY OF PHYLLOCNISTIS CITRELLA (LEPIDOPTERA: GRACILLARIIDAE)PARASITOIDS IN CITRUS CULTIVARS AND THE RELATIONSHIP WITH BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC FACTORS

ABSTRACT

The diversity of parasitoids of the citrus leafminer,Phyllocnistis citrella (Lep.: Gracillariidae), as well as their relationship with biotic and abiotic factors, were evaluated through fortnightly samplings, from July/ 2003 to June/2005, in two organically managed orchards, one of “Montenegrina” tangerine (Citrus deliciosa) and the other of the “Murcott” tangor (C. sinensis x C. reticulata), in Montenegro (29°37’51" S, 51°28’10" W), state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. At each sampling occasion, in 24 randomly selected trees, all leaves containing pupal chambers of the leaf miner were examined. In the laboratory, the leaf portion with the chamber was confined in a test tube and kept under controlled conditions until the emergence of the parasitoids or P. citrella. The number of shoots in the tree canopy was estimated for both sampling years. Ageniaspis citricola was the most abundant parasitoid, representing more than 80% of the total parasitoids in the two cultivars in these two years. Other registered parasitoid species were: Cirrospilus neotropicus, Cirrospilus floridensis , Elasmus phyllocnistoides and Chrysocharis vonones, thelatter constituting the first register of this species on P. citrella. Parasitoid diversity was similar among cultivars and different among years. The maximum temperature had the greatest influence on the miner and its parasitoids. Nevertheless, after its establishment, P. citrella also shows correlation with the young flush. The drought periods occurring during the study might have influenced the citrus leafminer and parasitoids populations due to the reduction of available resources for both groups.

KEY WORDS
Parasitism; citrus leafminer; meteorological factors

Instituto Biológico Av. Conselheiro Rodrigues Alves, 1252 - Vila Mariana - São Paulo - SP, 04014-002 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: arquivos@biologico.sp.gov.br