Species diversity of natural enemies of the orange pulvinaria scale, Pulvinaria aurantii (Hem.:Coccidae) on different citrus species of Tonekabon region, Northern Iran
The orange pulvinaria scale, Pulvinaria aurantii (Cockerel) (Hemiptera: Coccidae), is one of the most serious pest of citrus in the north of Iran. Many natural enemies can be effective in biological control of this pest in citrus orchards. In this research, the species diversity and relative abundance of natural enemies of P. aurantii were investigated on five host plants including blood orange (Citrus sinensis cv. Moro), sweet orange (Citrus sinensis cv. Siavaraz), sour orange (Citrus aurantium cv. Narenj), clementine mandarin (Citrus clementina cv. Cadoux) and kumquat (Fortunella margarita cv. Nagami) in the citrus orchards of Tonekabon region during 2011 and 2012. Based on the results obtained, 13 species of natural enemies with different abundance were collected from different host plants infested with orange pulvinaria scale. In both years, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Col.: Coccinellidae) had the higher abundance than other natural enemies on all surveyed host plants. No significant differences were found in the Shannon diversity or similarity indices of natural enemies community among different host plants tested. In both years, the values of Jaccard, Sorensen and Morisita-Horn similarity indices for community of natural enemies were more than moderate level on all host plants. Based on Morisita-Horn index, the species similarity for natural enemies was highest on blood orange, sour orange and clementine mandarin, and lowest on sweet orange and kumquat. These results can help to informed decision making in integrated management of P. aurantii in citrus orchards, especially those with several host plant species.