The parasitoid assemblage associated with the citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) was studied in citrus orchards in eastern Spain over a 7-yr period (1995–2001) after the leafminer’s introduction in 1994. In total, 11,587 adult native parasitoids were collected. To evaluate parasitism, 93,846 live immature stages of the citrus leafminer were observed, of which 21,460 (22.9%) were found to be parasitized. The parasitoid complex recruited around P. citrella was typical for invader hosts: lower species richness, generalized habits, idiobiont strategy, and low to moderate rates of parasitism. Two of the 10 species reared from the citrus leafminer, Pnigalio sp. and Cirrospilus brevis Zhu, LaSalle and Huang, accounted for >90% of the parasitoids. Native parasitoids moved onto the invading host rapidly, except for C. brevis, which required 3 yr to become common and widespread. In other leafminer species from plants in the vicinity of citrus orchards, the proportion of P. citrella parasitoids was higher in woody (69.7%) than in herbaceous plants (22.2%). The high population levels reached by the new pest, associated with a negative density dependence response of the parasitoids at these high population levels, suggest that the native parasitoid assemblage exerted only a limited role in regulating the population of the new host.
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