Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) and its parasitoids in citrus in Ecuador.
The objectives of this study were to determine the population fluctuations of the citrus leafminer, P. citrella, and its parasitoids in 3 locations of Ecuador (Lodana, Riochico and La Unión) from September 2000 to March 2001, to identify and determine the geographic distribution of P. citrella parasitoids within Ecuador, and to establish which of 11 citrus species supported higher numbers of P. citrella and its parasitoids. The highest population density of P. citrella occurred during the dry season. The highest infestations in 3 localities were in Lodana (43.8%) in October, in Riochico (45.7%) in November, and in La Unión (17.3%) in December. The greatest percentages of parasitism occurred in Lodana in March (60%), in Riochico in January (18.9%), and in La Unión in December (50%). The species Ageniaspis citricola, Galeopsomyia sp. and Elasmus tischeriae were identified with 28.4, 2.2, and 0.07% parasitism, respectively. Although this is the first report of A. citricola in Ecuador, it is widely distributed in the main citrus producing zones of the country. Orange and grapefruit yielded higher numbers of citrus leafminers and their natural enemies than other citrus species.