Torymus sinensis Kamijo, a biocontrol agent against the invasive chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu in Spain: its natural dispersal from France and the first data on establishment after experimental releases

Jose Luis Nieves-Aldrey, Diego Gil-Tapetado, Oscar Gavira, Juan R. Boyero, Carlo Polidori, Maria J. Lombardero, Diana Blanco, Carmen Rey del castillo, Pilar Rodriguez Rojo, Jose M. Vela, Eva Wong

Abstract


Aim of study: The globally invasive gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu, 1951 (Cynipidae: Cynipini), reached Spain seven years ago and is already regarded as an important pest of chestnuts (Castanea spp.) in this country as well as worldwide. In this paper, we present comprehensive data on the establishment in Spain of Torymus sinensis Kamijo, 1982 (Chalcidoidea: Torymidae), an effective non-native natural enemy of this pest, as a result of both natural dispersal and settlement after controlled releases since 2015.

Area of study: Sites of the Spanish autonomous communities of Galicia, Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalusia and Madrid where D. kuriphilus is present.

Material and methods: To study the natural dispersal of T. sinensis from France, we selected two sampling sites in Catalonia, six in the Basque Country and two in Navarra known for their heavy Asian chestnut gall wasp (ACGW) infestation; to study T. sinensis establishment after authorized controlled releases by the concerned authorities, the field samplings were done mainly in Galicia (35 sites) and Andalusia (8 sites). Additionally an experimental release study was made in Madrid.

Main Results: Our results showed that T. sinensis has spread throughout Spain by natural dispersal across the French border and now occurs in Catalonia (two sites), the Basque Country (three sites) and Navarra (one site) but not in the neighbouring region of Cantabria. The percentage of parasitism by T. sinensis on D. kuriphilus is higher in the Basque Country sites, which are close to the French border, thus indicating that its establishment in these localities is not recent. After controlled releases, T. sinensis has been successfully established in five release sites in Andalusia (Valle del Genal and Sierra Blanca, Málaga Province) and one release site in Madrid. However, in the region of Galicia (NW Spain), where the number of authorized releases has been higher, the establishment of T. sinensis still appears to be very low.

Research highlights: Established populations of T. sinensis may exert a positive buffer against D. kuriphilus-driven chestnut infestation in Spain, similar to what is observed in other invaded European countries.

Additional Keywords: Controlled releases, Torymidae, invasive species, Cynipidae, natural spread, biological control.

Abbreviations used: Asian chestnut gall wasp (ACGW); Torymus sinensis parasitism rate (TsPR); mean of ACGW larval chambers per gall (MACGW).


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References


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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2019281-14361

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