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Biological traits and the complex of parasitoids of the elm pest Orchestes steppensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Xinjiang, China

  • Q. Li (a1), S.V. Triapitsyn (a2), C. Wang (a1), W. Zhong (a1) and H.-Y. Hu (a1)...

Abstract

The flee-weevil Orchestes steppensis Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a steppe eastern Palaearctic species, notable as a serious pest of elms (Ulmus spp., Ulmaceae), by feeding on the leaves (adults) or mining them heavily (larvae), especially of Ulmus pumila L. in Xinjiang, China. We have corrected the previous misidentifications of this weevil in China as O. alni (L.) or O. mutabilis Boheman and demonstrated that it is likely to be an invasive species in Xinjiang. Prior to this study, natural enemies of O. steppensis were unknown in Xinjiang. Resulting from field investigation and rearing in the laboratory during 2013–2016, seven parasitoid species were found to be primary and solitary, attacking larval and pupal stages of the host weevil. Pteromalus sp. 2 is the dominant species and also is the most competitive among the seven parasitoids, which could considered to be a perspective biological control agent of O. steppensis. Yet, the current control of this pest by the local natural enemies in Xinjiang is still currently inefficient, even though in 2016 parasitism was about 36% on U. pumila in Urumqi, so the potential for a classical biological control program against it needs to be further investigated, including an assessment of its parasitoids and other natural enemies in the native range of O. steppensis. The presented information on the natural enemies of this weevil can be also important for a potential classical biological control program against it in North America (Canada and USA), where it is a highly damaging and rapidly spreading invasive species.

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*Author for correspondence E-mail: hoohyi-69@163.com; 80183119@qq.com

References

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