Pistachio Mealybug, Anapulvinaria pistaciae (Bodenheimer) (Hem.:Coccidae) New Host Record for Coccophagus piceaeErdös (Hem.: Chalcidoidea, Aphelinidae)

Document Type : Research Article


1 AREEO, Birjand, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor Center of Agricutural Research of East-Azarbaijan


Introduction: Pistachio is one of the most important horticultural products in Iran, especially in Kerman province. Other areas that pistachios are grown include Yazd, Khorasan, Fars, Semnan, SistanandBaluchestan, Qazvin, Isfahan and Qom. Pistachio is being attacked by several pests. One of these pests is pistachio mealybug, Anapulvinariapistaciae (Bodenheimer) (Hem.:Coccidae) which however, is not a major,, in unmanaged gardensof some parts of Iran, becomes to a damaging agent.
Scale insects are highly specialized herbivores. This group widely distributed from the Siberian tundra to the tropical areasareserious crop pests.The superfamily Coccoideacontains nearly 8000 species in 48 families in the World (5). In Iran, 13 families of the superfamilyhave been identified (8). Mealybugs of family Coccidae are important agricultural pests whichinfect leaves, branches and shootsof many fruit trees and ornamental plants. Biological control of some species of this family is successful and is carried out at relatively low cost and least harmful effects on the environment (12). The subfamily Coccophaginae has a host relationships that are different for males and females, and are defined as heteronomous.  In this groups some males are hyperparasitoid of female larvae (11).
Pistachio mealybug,A. pistaciae) is the only species of Anapulvinaria genus in the world (9)andfor the first time,was reported from Iran in 1937 (2).
Pistachio have been recorded from the provinces of Hormozgan, Kerman, Sistan and Baluchestan, South Khorasan and Yazd, on the host plants from the families Anacardiaceae (Pistaciakhinjuk and Rhuscoriaria), Juglandaceae (Juglansregia) and Tamaricaceae (Tamarix sp.) (8). So far it has been reported from Georgia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Afghanistan (5).
The superfamily Chalcidoidea -as main biocontrolagant of these pests- contains 22,500 known species, and an estimated total diversity of more than 500,000 species (7). Parasitoids of the families Aphelinidae and Encyrtidae (Hym.:Chalcidoidea) are the most important natural enemies of the mealybugswidely distributed in the World (1, 13). Aphelinidae are a moderate-sized family of tiny parasitic wasps. Most species are parasitoids of mealybugs, scale insects, whiteflies and aphids. Some other are hyperparasitic (10). More than 1300 species of the Aphelinidae family have been reported in the world (7, 10) and about 60 species of different species of this family did from Iran (7, 10).
Materials and Methods: During sampling from Pistachio Garden of Birjand Agricultural Research Station (32° 53'N 59° 13'E and elevation 1491m) in May 2016, some pistachio mealybugs were collected and transferred to the laboratory for rearing possible parasitoids.A handmade rearing plastic bag was used for rearing and collecting parasitoids (Fig. 1B).The collectedparasitic wasps on this pest were transferred to alcohol 75% and identified by second author, using available keys (13 and 14) and morphological characteristics in different parts of the body, especially the head, thorax and wings. The samples weredeposited in the insect collection, department of Plant Protection Research, East-Azarbaijan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, Tabriz.
Results and Discussion: Reared wasps were identified as CoccophaguspiceaeErdös, 1956 (Hym.:Chalcidoidea, Aphelinidae). This is first report of C. piceae on the pistachio mealybug. Important morphological features of C. piceaeare as follow: body length 1 - 1.3 mm, body generally dark (Fig. 1A), thorax dark, abdomen dark brown, antennae (Fig. 1B) and legs yellow, trochanter of mid and hind legs, hind femur medially and last tarsomers of all tarsi are dark; scutellum with only 2 to 3 pairs of long hairs.
This parasitoid has previously been reported from East-Azarbaijan province as parasitoid of Eulecaniumcoryli (L.), Eulecaniumtiliae (L.) and Didesmococcusunifasciatus (Archangelskaya) (Hem.:Coccidae)  (4). Generally, it is known as the parasitoid of different species of Pulvinaria(9). This wasp has been reported from the Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland and North Russia) and the Middle East (Asia, Turkey, Caucasus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq (9, 5). The pistachio mealybugis attacked by another wasp parasitoid, Blastothrixsericea (Dalman, 1820) (Hym.:Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae) in Tehran, Isfahan, Markazi, Gilan and Mazandaran provinces (3).


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