Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Beneficial insect community of Moroccan citrus groves: assessment of their potential to enhance biocontrol services.

Abstract

In citrus groves, beneficial insects that reduce abundance of pests are considered a key component of integrated pest management strategies. The aim of this article was to assess the biodiversity of parasitoids and predators in citrus orchards in Moroccoto facilitate future investigations on their potential as biocontrol agents. Data of 105 citrus beneficial insects were gathered and summarized in a data matrix. Variables such nature, target pests, type, establishment, and efficacy were assessed. More than two-thirds of parasitoids and predators species identified in citrus groves of Morocco (105 species) are native (> 70%). Both groups represent only a small fraction of the introduced species. The mostly attack armored scale insects (Diaspididae) and aphids (Aphididae). The ladybeetle Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is the first beneficial species introduced in 1921 to the Moroccan citrus orchards to control the cottony cushion scale Icerya purchasi (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Monophlebidae). Major introductions of these parasitoids and predators were carried out during the ninetieth to control the main citrus pests whereas they were accidentally introduced. These purposely introduced species are mainly Aphelinidae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae, Coccinellidae, and Phytoseiidae. Whereas a high proportion of the introduced beneficial insects was established and no species have been reported to be harmful to this date. Considering only the introduced species used in classical biological control context, about 20 and 40% of them are considered as effective or partially effective, respectively.