DACTYLOPII VERSUS PLANOCOCCUS CITRI
Dactylopii is an endophagous parasitoid introduced in
Italy in the fifties.
Presently it is the most commonly used beneficial organism
to control Planococcus citri.
This insect as an adult is sized 2-3 mm and has a yellow-brownish
skin. The female has honey-yellow colour and has an ovopositor.
The male has the same colour as the female but is smaller
than she is.
The female lays 60/80 eggs at the expense of aged grubs and
of female Planococcus citri. Inside the host body each egg
generates a grub which grows up as a "host feeder".
It takes 15-20 days from the stage of egg to that of adult.
Sicilian climate does not allow Leptomastix to winter,
and that is why seasonal inoculation launches are required
It is proper to start the first launch of Leptomastix
dactylopii when the male Planococcus citri begins
to fly. You have to practice an equal distribution of about
800-1200/ha individuals in two or three times. Leptomastix
dactylopii is handled with 100 individual plastic boxes.
During delivery insects are to be kept at a temperature of
about 13°C with the aid of polystyrene disposable packs
cooled by dry ice.