The citrus leaf miner (CLM), scientifically known as Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton and belonging to the Gracillaridae family, is a significant nuisance for citrus nurseries and the tender leaves of young citrus plants. Damage caused by the larvae is conspicuous especially on the young foliage during initial phase of development and the management of the pest is highly critical. The present studies were carried out at ICAR-Central Citrus Research Institute, Nagpur during 2013 to 2015 to document the species composition of bioagents (parasitoids and predators), their incidence levels and species richness/ diversity in citrus ecosystems with reference to citrus leaf miner. During the study, we documented individuals from two classes, four orders and six families of insects. Class Insecta was dominant followed by Arachnida. Among the six families, Eulophidae and Coccinellidae were the most dominant bioagent groups for parasitoid and predator, respectively. Relative abundance of the bioagents of P. citrella revealed that C. phyllocnistoides was the predominant one and constituted 30% of total bioagents collected followed by Cirrospilus sp. (including C. quadristriatus, C. ingenuus) (25%), E. brevicornis (15%) and S. striatipes (9%). Coccinellids constituted about 3%; whereas, chrysopid predator, M. desjardinsi and spider species constituted 13% and 7%, respectively of the total bioagent collection. Understanding of the bioagent complex in citrus ecosystem will help us to identify the promising ones for biological control as well as guide us the bioagent active frame to avoid pesticide sprays to sustain them naturally in the ecosystem.
Arthropod biodiversity, Bioagents, Citrus ecosystem, Citrus leaf miner, Species composition