Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

Neodryinus typhlocybae, a biological control agent of Metcalfa pruinosa, spreading in Hungary and reaching Slovakia.

Abstract

The North American citrus flatid planthopper, Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Hemiptera Flatidae), introduced in Europe in the late seventies, has become a major pest of a wide range of plant taxa in many countries throughout the continent. In Italy, the early recognition of this rapidly spreading species resulted in the introduction of Neodryinus typhlocybae (Hymenoptera Dryinidae), an already known natural enemy of M. pruinosa in North America, and was followed by intentional release programmes in several additional countries within southern Europe. However, the features of dispersal and the impact of the parasitoid species on the populations of the pest have been studied only in a few cases. There is a lack of information on the occurrence and biology of N. typhlocybae in other regions of the continent, including Hungary, where N. typhlocybae was first recorded only in 2014. The results of this study, carried out in Hungary between 2015-2018, revealed that although there had been no official release programmes for N. typhlocybae it became widely distributed. The rate of parasitism ranged between 0.66% (in Martonvásár, 2016) and 29.65% (in Kaposvár, 2018). The species was found to develop through one or two generations a year, with a major proportion of the studied populations being bivoltine. These findings suggest N. typhlocybae could provide effective and environmentally sound control of M. pruinosa in urban habitats. Furthermore, N. typhlocybae is reported here for the first time from Slovakia, indicating the natural range expansion of the parasitoid in Central Europe. A hyperparasitoid species, Cheiloneurus boldyrevi (Hymenoptera Encyrtidae) is first recorded from Hungary.