In the framework of the collaboration agreement signed between the Council of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Government of Valencia and the Agroforestry Institute of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), a study has been underway to determine the effectiveness of Anagyrus aberiae; a parasitoid imported from South Africa, against the pest cotonet de les Valls; an insect that causes significant damage to the Valencian citrus industry.
The results of the research show that this South African predator has both a good capacity to adapt to the climatic conditions of the Region of Valencia and a remarkable level of efficiency in reducing the populations of cotonet de les Valls.
In the coming months, the progress made will allow the Council of Agriculture to ask the Spanish Ministry for the processing of the corresponding permits, as well as to start the breeding and reproduction tasks of the Anagyrus aberiae in order to be able to carry out massive releases of this predator. The prospect is that by the start of the next campaign, there will be large enough populations of this parasitoid, thereby significantly reducing the presence of the pest in Valencian citrus farms.
The cotonet sucks the sap of the trees, which entails their weakening and translates into a deformation of the fruits or a reduction in their size, with their consequent commercial depreciation. It also causes indirect damage due to the secretion of a substance that serves as breeding ground for the fungus called Grey Knight.