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Environmental risk assessment of the egg parasitoid Anaphes inexpectatus for classical biological control of the Eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus platensis

Valente, Carlos, Afonso, Catarina, Gonçalves, Catarina I., Alonso-Zarazaga, Miguel A., Reis, Ana, Branco, Manuela
BioControl 2017 v.62 no.4 pp. 457-468
Anaphes, Gonipterus scutellatus, Hypera postica, biological control, eggs, environmental assessment, fauna, host specificity, nontarget organisms, parasitoids, risk assessment
Classical biological control is a valuable tool against invasive pests, but concerns about non-target effects requires risk assessment studies. Potential non-target effects of Anaphes inexpectatus Huber and Prinsloo (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) were assessed for a classical biological control programme against the Eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus platensis (Marelli) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). No-choice tests were conducted with 17 non-target species to assess host specificity, including 11 curculionids. In behavioural observations, A. inexpectatus showed no interest in any of the non-target species, but two weevil species were parasitised within five days of exposure, although at significantly lower rates than G. platensis. In choice tests, only one non-target, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), was parasitised, at a rate of 0.6%, while 50.0% of G. platensis eggs were parasitised. Based on the host specificity test results and the potential host fauna found in the target area, the likelihood of non-target effects resulting from the release of A. inexpectatus is considered to be negligible.