Natural enemies of certain tea pests occurring in southern India.
In southern India, the principal tea pests such as the mites Acaphylla theae, Calacarus carinatus and Oligonychus coffeae; the thrips Scirtothrips bispinosus; the aphid Toxoptera aurantii; and the caterpillars Caloptilia theivora, Homona coffearia and Cydia leucostoma are attacked by many natural enemies. H. coffearia is efficiently controlled by an ichneumonid, Phytodietus sp., and a tachinid, Palexorista solennis, whilst an eulophid, Sympiesis dolichogaster, affords excellent regulation of C. theivora. Apanteles aristaeus, is the chief parasitoid of C. leucostoma, but the efficiency of this species is rather low. Aphidius colemani, Lipolexis scuttellaris and Trioxys indicus, and several species of coccinellids and syrphids exert tremendous influence on the population of T. aurantii. No natural enemies of the stem borer, Xyleborus fornicatus, could be recorded. For the management of mites, pesticides are regularly applied and the widespread usage of broad spectrum acaricides such as dicofol and sulphur is an important reason for the low incidence of predatory mites in tea fields. Authors' summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Camellia sinensis | Stimulant Crops | tea | insect pests | mites | natural enemies | pest control biological | India | Tamil Nadu | Kerala.