Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

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.