Wild and cultivated olives in the Western Cape of South Africa are direct or indirect hosts to a high diversity of Braconidae and Chalcidoidea wasps. Olive-associated Braconidae are known to parasitise the larvae of Bactrocera oleae (Rossi), and probably also Bactrocera biguttula (Bezzi). The lifestyle of olive-associated Chalcidoidea is not fully understood, and may include phytophagous, parasitoid and hyperparasitoid species. Some chalcids could represent olive seed wasps (OSW), a generic term that designates the seed feeders responsible for losses in commercial olive production. In order to obtain direct DNA-based evidence for the lifestyle of four putative OSW – Eupelmus spermophilus Silvestri, Eurytoma oleae Silvestri, Eurytoma varicolor Silvestri, Sycophila aethiopica (Silvestri); and the parasitoid Neochrysocharis formosus (Westwood) – we developed a multiplex PCR assay comprising species-specific primers for each species. The assay was used to survey larvae collected from the seeds of wild and cultivated olives. Eupelmus spermophilus was the most abundant species in wild and cultivated olives, and may represent a threat to the local olive industry. Eurytoma oleae was found only within the seeds of wild olives, and may also represent an OSW. We found direct evidence supporting the potential agricultural relevance of S. aethiopica and E. varicolor as parasitoids of E. spermophilus. These results may inform strategies for the management and control of OSW in the Western Cape.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 28 • No. 2