Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), vectors the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, one of the causal organisms of the devastating citrus disease “huanglongbing” or citrus greening. In the United States, D. citri was first discovered in Florida, in 1998. Tamarixia radiata Waterston (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) was imported from Asia and released in Florida in 1999–2001 to improve biological control of D. citri before citrus greening was detected in Florida in 2005. Florida citrus groves were surveyed during 2006 – 2007 for D. citri and T. radiata. Results showed that D. citri was established in all 28 citrus groves surveyed across 16 counties. Adult populations averaged 3.52, 1.27, and 1.66 individuals per “tap” sample at locations in the central, southwest, and eastern coastal regions, respectively. A tap sample consisted of 22- by 28-cm white paper sheet (on a clipboard) held under branches selected at random that were tapped three times. Averages of 67, 44, and 45% citrus shoots infested with psyllid eggs or nymphs were obtained in the central, southwest, and eastern coastal regions, respectively. T. radiata was recovered from fourth- and fifth-instar psyllid nymphs at 26 of the 28 locations. However, apparent parasitism rates were variable and averaged <20% during spring and summer over all locations. Incidence of parasitism increased during fall at some locations, averaging 39% in September and 56% in November in the central and southwest regions, respectively. Further efforts are warranted to enhance the biological control of D. citri and thereby reduce psyllid populations and spread of citrus greening disease.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1