It is important to correctly describe and identify species. For instance, in biological control, the biological control agent must only affect the intended pest, to prevent any negative impact on non-target host species populations: The Cotesia complex (a complex means closely related but distinct species) of larval parasitoid wasps of moths whose larvae are stemborers of grasses (including cereals such as rice, wheat and maize, as well as forage grasses), was made up of four geographically isolated sister species.
This article describes a new additional species of Cotesia parasitoid wasp from Africa, the 5th member of the flavipes complex, first considered as a host race of Cotesia sesamiae Cameron, a potential candidate for the biological control of the Mediterranean maize stem borer, Sesamia nonagriodes. The investigators present the first data that this new species is a successful parasitoid of Sesamia nonagriodes, a major pest in West Africa and the Mediterranean. The new species is a promising biological control agent of the Mediterranean corn borer, because it only parasitises the target pest, at least in its native area.
This is an output from the ‘Impact of Biological Control of Stem Borers on Maize and Sorghum Production in East and Southern Africa’ project. It is partly funded by the UK Department for International Development, a core donor of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology.
Kaiser L., Fernandez-Triana J., Capdevielle-Dulac C., Chantre C., Bodet M., Kaoula F., Benoist R., Calatayud P.-A., Dupas S., Herniou E.A., Jeannette R., Obonyo J., Silvain J.F. and Le Ru B. (2017) Systematics and biology of Cotesia typhae sp. nov. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae), a potential biological control agent against the noctuid Mediterranean corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides. ZooKeys 682, 105–136. https://doi.org/110.3897/zookeys.682.13016.
Systematics and biology of Cotesia typhae sp. nov. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae), a potential biological control agent against the noctuid Mediterranean corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides