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BNI June 2001 Vol 21. No. 2: Review

M.T.K. Kairo, V.F. Lopez, G.V. Pollard and R. Hector

Biological control of coconut whitefly, Aleurodicus pulvinatus, in Nevis. BNI 22 (1)


Aleurodicus pulvinatus is a serious pest of coconuts and many ornamental species. Although it is native to certain parts of the Neotropics it appears to have become introduced into several islands in the Caribbean. Furthermore, it has the potential to become more widespread. A recent project has been focused on biological control of A. pulvinatus in Nevis and this work offers a good case study of challenges/problems in implementing this kind of project. Information on the taxonomy of the pest and its natural enemies is reviewed. Surveys for natural enemies carried out in Trinidad and Tobago showed that species within the genus Aleurodicus share a number of natural enemies. The natural enemy complex attacking Aleurodicus spp. includes several species of Aphelinidae in two genera (Encarsiella and Encarsia), one Encyrtidae (Metaphycus sp.) and several species of Nephaspis (Coccinellidae). The Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Exotic Biological Control Agents was followed and thus the work provides a good model for other countries wishing to implement the Code. Encarsiella sp. D was introduced into Nevis and appears to have become established.