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BNI September 2001 Vol 21. No. 3: Review

F. Ferrer

Biological control of agricultural insect pests in Venezuela; advances, achievements, and future perspectives. BNI 22 (3)


Biological control has been practised in Venezuela from the beginning of the 20th century, beginning with the classical introductions of Rodolia cardinalis for controlling Icerya purchasi, Aphelinus mali for the woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum), and Apanteles thurberiae for the cotton pest Sacadodes pyralis. These classical introductions were similar to those of other countries of Latin America. However, the first practical attempts at controlling the sugarcane borer, Diatraea spp., were begun in the 1950s with the introduction of the Amazonian fly, Lydella (=Metagonistylum) minense. Following on from this success, the most important achievements were the introduction of Prospaltella opulenta by which the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi, was brought under complete control, and the introductions of Cotesia flavipes for controlling Diatraea spp. and Telenomus remus for controlling the armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. Several laboratories now rear C. flavipes and T. remus on a large scale in Venezuela. At the same time, the use of Metarhizium anisopliae and other related entomopathogens was developed, and these are nowadays produced on a commercial basis and are extensively used in a number of crops.