Classic biological control of olive fruit fly in California, USA: release and recovery of introduced parasitoids

Abstract

The establishment of olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) in California, USA instigated a classical biological program. This study reports the release and recovery of two solitary larval endoparasitoids, Psyttalia humilis Silvestri and Psyttalia lounsburyi (Silvestri) imported from sub-Saharan Africa, and released in five coastal and three inland counties in California, USA. Both parasitoid species were recovered post-release within the same fruit season and dispersed up to 1,500 m from a release location. P. lounsburyi was recovered post-release the following fruit seasons at numerous sites, and up to 945 days after the last release at one site. It is now established in California coastal regions, but not at the inland release sites. We discuss ecological factors and aspects of parasitoid biology that could improve or impede the permanent establishment of olive fruit fly parasitoids in California.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Monica Cooper, John Hutchins, Karmit Levy, Emily Kuhn, Mathew Middleton, Karen Sime, and Kevin Welzel (University of California, Berkeley, USA), Martha Gerik (University of California, Riverside, USA) for assistance; David Headrick, Pete Peterson, and Therese Kapaun (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA) for facilitating field study and help; Scott Ritterbuck, Walt French, Anne May and David Righetti for using their olive trees; Walker Jones (USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory, Montferrier, France), and Pedro Rendon (USDA-APHIS-PPQ Parasitoid Rearing Facility, Guatemala) for providing parasitoids; and Victoria Yokoyama (USDA-ARS, Parlier, California, USA) for useful discussions on field release. Funds were provided by the California Specialty Crop Block Grant, California Olive Committee, USDA APHIS, CDFA Biological Control Program, USDA-CSREES Special Grants Program: Pest Management Alternatives, and the Cañada College Trustees Fund.

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Correspondence to Kent M. Daane.

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Handling Editor: Dirk Babendreier.

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Daane, K.M., Wang, X., Nieto, D.J. et al. Classic biological control of olive fruit fly in California, USA: release and recovery of introduced parasitoids. BioControl 60, 317–330 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-015-9652-9

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Keywords

  • Bactrocera oleae
  • Psyttalia
  • Pteromalus
  • Biological control
  • Climatic adaptability
  • Host specificity