Laboratory parasitism by Phymastichus coffea (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) upon Non-target Bark Beetles Associated with Coffee Plantations

  • Alfredo Castillo
  • Francisco Infante
  • Guillermo Lopez
  • Javier Trujillo
  • Lawrence R. Kirkenda


Phymastichus coffea (LaSalle) is an African parasitoid of adults of the coffee berry borer Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) that has been introduced to Mexico and other Central and South American countries for the biological control of this important pest. The present study assessed the host specificity of this parasitoid in the laboratory. We tested the acceptance and parasitism of P. coffea on five species of bark beetle adults commonly found in coffee plantations of Mexico: Hypothenemus crudiae, H. plumeriae, H. eruditus, Scolytodes borealis and Araptus fossifrons. As a control, we used adults of H. hampei‘ the natural host. P. coffea parasitized and successfully completed its life cycle in H. crudiae and H. eruditus, as well as in H. hampei. The degree to which bark beetles were attacked by P. coffea was estimated by percent of parasitism, which was 64% for H. hampei, 14% for H. crudiae, and 6% for H. eruditus. The risk of potential deleterious effects of the parasitoid on non-target organisms in coffee agroecosystems is discussed.

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