Success of classical biological control of the cassava mealybug in northeastern Brazil
What is it about?
The mealybug Phenacoccus herreni Cox & Williams was first observed damaging cassava plants in northeastern Brazil in the early 1980s. By the mid-1990s this pest was found in 57 municipalities belonging to six states in northeastern Brazil, making cassava production uneconomic in some areas, with yield losses of up to 80%. Because of the social and economic importance of cassava in that country, a project was initiated in mid-1994 for the biological control of P. herreni, with the introduction of three Hymenoptera of the family Encyrtidae, Apoanagyrus diversicornis (Howard), Aenasius vexans (Kerrich), and Acerophagus coccois Smith, from Colombia and Venezuela. By the end of 1996, A. diversicornis was recovered 130, 234, 304 and 550 km from its release site after 6, 14, 21 and 33 months, respectively. A. coccois was recovered at 180 km from its release site nine months after release.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor José Mauricio Simões Bento