In Chile, the diversity of Armored scale insects (Hemiptera : Diaspididae), soft scale insects (Hemiptera : Coccidae) and associated natural enemies currently present in Chilean agrosystems was investigated by the mixed Anasac Chile-INRA-PUC R&D team using a molecular characterization based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers (COI, 28 s).
At final, 11 species of Coccidae and 19 species of Diaspididae were identified by molecular and morphological analyses. The most relevant pests in the orchards were Saissetia oleae (Coccidae), Aspidiotus nerii, Hemiberlesia rapax, H. lataniae, Aonidiella aurantii, Diaspidiotus perniciosus, Lepidosaphes beckii and L. ulmi (Diaspididae)
For Coccidae the most relevant parasitoid species belonged to the genus Metaphycus, Coccophagus and Scutellista, and Aphytis and Encarsia for Diaspididae. This study provides good molecular tools for futures researches and to orientate the development of biocontrol methods in Chile.