Survey of Natural Enemies of the Invasive Boxwood Moth Cydalima perspectalis in Southwestern Mediterranean Europe and Biocontrol Potential of a Native Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill. Strain
Cydalima perspectalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a species native to East Asia, has been especially devastating in the Mediterranean region and Catalonia, northeast Spain, where Buxus sempervirens is an essential component of the natural forest. As an invasive species, the lack of biotic mortality factors in the arrival region has been one of the main factors allowing its expansion. Therefore, this study aimed to collect and identify possible indigenous natural enemies adapting to the new species in the boxwood of the southwest Mediterranean region. Later, the efficacy of some of the collected species for controlling C. perspectalis larvae was tested in laboratory conditions. The larval collection was carried out in successive years in the boxwood of the region. Several collected larvae were infected with an entomopathogen, Beauveria bassiana, or parasitized by Compsilura concinnata, both common in native Lepidoptera caterpillars. The B. bassiana strain was found to be highly virulent against the developed larvae of C. perspectalis, which suggests that B. bassiana may be an effective treatment in parks and gardens when the first overwintering larvae are detected. The biology of the parasitoid identified is not very well known in Europe, which suggests the necessity of studying its biology and alternative hosts in the region in order to improve its population.
Journal or Serie
Insects, 2022, vol. 13, núm. 9, art. 781.