Tachinids associated with lepidopteran pests in agricultural crops in south-central region of Goiás, Brazil

Abstract

Lepidopterans are among the most important groups of pests for crops in central Brazil. Fortunately, there is a significant diversity of natural enemies acting in the natural regulation of these pests. Among them, the parasitoids of the family Tachinidae (Diptera) are often found parasitizing the larval phase of Lepidoptera pests in Brazilian agricultural crops. However, little is known about the diversity of these parasitoids in crops in central Brazil, which is one of the main grain-producing regions. Knowing the diversity of tachinid associated to lepidopteran pests is the first step to future studies on conservative and applied biological control. Therefore, we studied the existing diversity of this family of parasitoids associated with several species of lepidopteran pests in soybean and corn crops in the state of Goiás (Brazil) and neighboring municipalities. Nine species of Lepidoptera larvae were collected, of which approximately 18.9% were parasitized by tachinids. We identified three species and 25 morphospecies of this parasitoid family, belonging to 14 genera and nine tribes from three of the four existing subfamilies of tachinid. Strong associations between some tachinid species and hosts species were observed, e.g., Archytas incertus (Tachinidae: Diptera) and Helicoverpa armigera (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera), Gonia sequax (Tachinidae: Diptera) and Spodoptera frugiperda (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera). These species have great potential to be studied as applied biological control agents. This is the first recorded occurrence of the genus Atactosturmia (Tachinidae: Diptera) and the species G. sequax in Brazil.

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Data availability

The identified material is kept in the entomological collection of the Departamento de Zoologia of Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Code availability

Not applicable.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Goiás (FAPEG) (Grant numbers 124304/2017-6 and 201310267001419, respectively). We thank the undergraduate students of Integrated Pest Management laboratory (Universidade Federal de Goiás) for field assistance with the collections of caterpillars. We specially thank Janayne M. Rezende (AgBitech) and Giulliano S. Camargos (Universidade Federal de Goiás) for their support during the research, and Kevyllen M. B. Borges for making the map in Fig. 1. We are grateful to Silvio S. Nihei (Universidade de São Paulo) for receiving our Tachinid samples in his laboratory.

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Contributions

IDW performed the screening of the material, rearing the caterpillars, initial identification of the genera of tachinid obtained, data analysis, and wrote the original draft of the manuscript. WRL assisted with the initial identification of the genera of tachinid, with the investigations, and reviewed critically the manuscript for important intellectual content. LCBP reviewed and confirmed the genera of tachinid, identified the species and morpho-species and reviewed critically the manuscript for important intellectual content. KCA-G assisted with the investigations and reviewed critically the manuscript for important intellectual content. CC contributed with the field collections of the caterpillars, assisted with the investigations and reviewed critically the manuscript for important intellectual content.

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Correspondence to Igor Daniel Weber.

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Handling Editor: Stefano Colazza

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Weber, I.D., Lopes, W.R., de Paula, L.C.B. et al. Tachinids associated with lepidopteran pests in agricultural crops in south-central region of Goiás, Brazil. BioControl (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-021-10098-3

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Keywords

  • Corn
  • Diptera
  • Natural enemies
  • Parasitoids
  • Soybean