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Journal of Entomology
Year: 2020  |  Volume: 17  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 58 - 67

First Report of Psyttalia lounsburyi, a New Larval Parasitoid of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis capitata in Moroccan Argane Forest

Hallouti Ayoub, Zahidi Abdelaziz, Lamharchi El Hassane, Boubaker Hassan, El Mousadik Abdelhamid and Ait Benaoumar Abdellah    

Abstract: Background and Objective: Ceratitis capitata is considered as one of the most economically destructive pest. Several alternatives have been used but efficacy remains limited. The objective consists in the search for other natural enemies such as parasitoids and evaluate parasitism rate of larval stages from infested fruits by medfly collected in argane forest. Materials and Methods: About 400 fly larvae per sample and per locality were isolated and placed in breeding boxes at optimal temperature until the emergence of adults. Number of Ceratitis adults and parasitism rate have been observed. Morphological and molecular identification using COI-F/COI-R primers of collected parasitoids were also occurred. Results: Morphological and molecular analyses confirmed the occurrence of a new haplotype of the larval parasitoid belonging to Psyttalia genus in argane forest. In addition, phylogenetic analyses revealed that these specimens were 92% (E-value = 2e-85) identical to Psyttalia lounsburyi. The presence of this parasitoid was noted in all studied localities with a variable parasitism rate which reached a value of 21.5% in the localities where agricultural activities are present. Conclusion: It can be concluded that this natural parasitoid could be native to argane forest and will be used as biological control agent against Ceratitis capitata and Bactrocera oleae in Morocco. Also in Mediterranean region which constitute a handicap to the extension of biological agriculture of fruit trees.

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