Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (5): 863-870, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.114

Distribution and diversity of wheat aphid parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) in Iran

Ehsan RAKHSHANI1, ģeljko TOMANOVI∆2, Petr STAR›3, Ali-Asghar TALEBI4, Nickolas G. KAVALLIERATOS*,5, Abbas-Ali ZAMANI6, Srdjan STAMENKOVI∆2
1 Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, University of Zabol, P.O. Box 998615-538, I. R., Iran
2 Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
3 Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, BraniĻovskŠ 31, 37005 »eskť Budžjovice, Czech Republic
4 Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, P.O. Box 14115-336, I. R., Iran
5 Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Benaki Phytopathological Institute, 8 Stefanou Delta str., 14561 Kifissia, Attica, Greece; e-mail: nick_kaval@hotmail.com
6 Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, University of Razi, Kermanshah, I. R., Iran

Eleven species of parasitoids were found to attack 7 species of wheat aphids in Iran. The Simpson's Index of diversity (D) used to compare the aphidiine diversity in various cereal crop systems in geographically different regions of Iran ranged from 0.197 to 0.488, depending on locality. There were significant differences among species diversities at different altitudes. The central highlands (1000-1500 meters above mean sea level) were the areas with the most diverse aphid parasitoid complex, differing significantly from that at lower and higher altitudes. We found that altitude explained about 10% of the cereal aphid parasitoid distribution pattern in Iran. Species of the genus Aphidius Nees were the most abundant and widely distributed. These were Aphidius rhopalosiphi De Stefani, Aphidius uzbekistanicus Luzhetski, Aphidius colemani Viereck and Aphidius matricariae Haliday. A. uzbekistanicus, Ephedrus plagiator (Nees) and Ephedrus persicae Froggat were encountered mainly on the plains at lower altitudes. Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) was mainly recorded at higher altitudes in Iran along with its dominant parasitoid species, Diaeretiella rapae (MIntosh). The fact that Iran is close to the presumed area of D. noxia origin (Central Asian submountains) could be very important in further biological control efforts against this pest aphid. According to our results, Aphidius ervi Haliday is a very rare parasitoid of cereal aphids in Iran, which contrast with its high abundance in Europe and North America.

Keywords: Cereal aphids, parasitoids, Aphidiinae, Braconidae, Iran, biodiversity

Received: September 18, 2007; Accepted: July 21, 2008; Published: December 30, 2008

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