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Post-release evaluation of non-target effects of Torymus sinensis, the biological control agent of Dryocosmus kuriphilus in Italy

Ferracini, Chiara, Ferrari, Ester, Pontini, Marianna, Nova, Lindsay Karen Hernández, Saladini, Matteo A., Alma, Alberto
BioControl 2017 v.62 no.4 pp. 445-456
Andricus, Diplolepis, Dryocosmus kuriphilus, Torymus, biological control agents, galls, host range, nontarget organisms, oviposition, parasitoids, Italy
A post-release study was performed to assess the impact of Torymus sinensis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), the biological control agent of Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), on native cynipid gall inducers in Italy. In total, 14,512 non-target galls were collected, corresponding to seven genera: Andricus, Aphelonyx, Biorhiza, Cynips, Diplolepis, Neuroterus, and Synophrus, and 8708 chalcid parasitoids were recorded. The Torymidae family accounted for about 30%, and Bootanomyia (=Megastigmus) dorsalis, Torymus affinis and T. flavipes were the most represented species. A total of 116 T. sinensis emerged from 15 different oak galls, mainly Andricus curvator and A. inflator. In controlled conditions, oviposition was recorded on A. cydoniae, A. grossulariae and A. lucidus, while no mating with native congeneric species occurred. This paper confirms the realised host-range expansion by T. sinensis. Even if it were extremely difficult to evaluate its magnitude, the impact appears minimal, and an occasional feeding with no changes in the distribution or abundance of non-target hosts is expected.