Review article: The ladybird predator Serangium parcesetosum Sicard (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): current status and future perspectives.
Journal of Biological Control 26: 297-313.
Whiteflies have causing extensive damage for almost a century and continue to be destructive pests of several agricultural crops in much of the world. Biological control is recognized as the best alternative to the use of insecticides for controlling insect pests. Serangium parcesetosum Sicard (Col., Coccinellidae) is a specialist, oligophagous and efficient predator that has demonstrated a potential for biological control of many whitefly species. Concomitantly, this paper reviews the morphology, phenology and biology of S. parcesetosum. In addition, studies conducted during the last decades on the predator’s predation potential and preferences are summarized. Furthermore, S. parcesetosum releases against some whitefly species are herein presented. Finally, this paper presents the current efforts in biological control of whiteflies using S. parcesetosum in greenhouses and open fields, and highlights research gaps and directions deserving further development to create a better understanding of S. parcesetosum on different agricultural crops to control whiteflies. The available data indicate that long survival of S. parcesetosum adults accomplished by their voraciously feeding is a great feature that resulted in a successful control of whiteflies. An additional positive feature of S. parcesetosum that it could establish and disperse throughout citrus fields. In conclusion, S. parcesetosum could develop, survive, reproduce and prey upon whiteflies, and build up its population successfully. Consequently, it is likely that S. parcesetosum could effectively function as a sole biological control agent or as in conjunctions with other natural enemies to develop new management strategies to provide a great level of whiteflies suppression worldwide.