Chong, J.H., & Oetting, R.D. 2007a Intraguild predation and interference by the mealybug predator Cryptolaemus montrouzieri on the parasitoid Leptomastix dactylopii. . Biocontrol Science and Technology 17(9): 933-944.

Notes: The compatibility of the encyrtid parasitoid Leptomastix dactylopii with the coccinellid beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri against the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, is determined by the extent of intraguild predation and interference by the predator. We tested the preference of the adults and fourth-instar larvae of C. montrouzieri for healthy mealybugs and parasitized mealybugs harboring 1-, 4-, 7- and 14-day-old parasitoid larvae. The experiments were conducted in no-choice (only unparasitized mealybugs or parasitized mealybugs of one parasitoid age were offered at one time) and choice (unparasitized and parasitized mealybugs of a specific age were offered simultaneously) tests. Both the adults and larvae of C. montrouzieri fed on unparasitized and parasitized mealybugs but strongly discriminated against the hardened mummies (14 days old). We also investigated the influence of the presence of C. montrouzieri to the foraging effectiveness of L. dactylopii. The level of parasitism by L. dactylopii was reduced from about 13 to 6% when the number of the C. montrouzieri was increased from zero to four. We recommended that the releases of C. montrouzieri should be conducted 14 days after the releases of L. dactylopii to reduce intraguild predation on the parasitized mealybugs and to avoid interference with the foraging parasitoids. Internet Link: