We conducted an augmentative release trial with the encyrtid parasitoid Metaphycus sp. nr flavus (Howard) against citricola scale, Coccus pseudomagniolarum (Kuwana), in three citrus orchards in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Three parasitoid release timings (14 October–13 November, 4 January–5 February, and 26 February–16 March; hereinafter “early,” “intermediate,” and “late”) were compared with a no-release check. Approximately 2,400 female parasitoids were released per central release tree. Late releases were associated with reduced scale survival on the release trees but no evidence of scale suppression was found on adjacent trees. Early and intermediate releases resulted in less pronounced scale suppression than late releases. Intermediate and late, but not early, releases were associated with an increase in the numbers of recovered female M. sp. nr flavus. Early releases, however, increased the numbers of recovered male Metaphycus spp. Thus, at the time of early releases, the scales may have been too small for the production of female parasitoids. A multiple regression model relating the degree of scale mortality in one orchard to the levels of recovered female Metaphycus helvolus (Compere), M. sp. nr flavus, or M. luteolus (Timberlake) (these latter two species are morphologically indistinguishable), and Coccophagus spp., suggested that the number of Coccophagus spp. females followed by M. helvolus females, were most strongly associated with scale mortality.
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Vol. 96 • No. 5