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Geographical distribution: Wherever its hosts, armored scale insects (Diaspididae) occur.
Hosts: Armored scale insects (Diaspididae).
Life cycle: The larvae are ectoparasitoids of armored scale insects. The female drills a hole in the shield, through which it places one or more eggs on or under the body of the host. The emerging larva feeds on the scale, develops and pupates there. The emerging adults feed on nectar or honeydew, seek their specific hosts, produce 20-30 offspring/female and live for 2-3 weeks. Aphytis spp. are multivoltine, unless development is curtailed by cold weather. Most species reproduce by arrhenotoky, a few being thelytokous.
Economic importance: Species of Aphytis are important, sometimes major natural enemies of injurious diaspidid pests, and have been introduced into several regions to control them. Pest examples include Chrysompahlus aonidum and Lepidosaphes beckii. Some species of Aphytis kill their hosts, aside from parasitisation, by host feeding.
Species of Aphytis are susceptible to pesticides and their use disrupts efforts to control diaspidid pests. The discovery of pesticide-resistant strains of some species can lead to the wider use of Aphytis.
MAJOR SPECIES OF APHYTIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THEIR DIASPIDID HOSTS
Aphytis africanus Quednau. Host: Aonidiella aurantii.
Aphytis coheni DeBach. Hosts: Aonidiella aurantii and Leucaspis riccae.
Aphytis diaspidis (Howard). Host: Parlatoria oleae
Aphytis holoxanthus DeBach. Host: Chrysompahlus aonidum.
Aphytis lepidosaphes Compere. Host: Lepidosaphes beckii.
Aphytis libanicus Traboulsi. Host: Lepidosaphes malicola.
Aphytis lingnanensis Compere. Host: Aonidiella aurantii.
Aphytis maculicornis (Masi). Hosts: Lepidosaphes ulmi and Parlatoria oleae.
Aphytis melinus DeBach. Host: Aonidiella aurantii.
Aphytis paramaculicornis DeBach and Rosen. Host: Parlatoria oleae.
Aphytis philippinensis DeBach and Rosen. Host: Parlatoria oleae.
Aphytis proclia Walker. Host: Diaspidiotus prunorum.
Aphytis phoenicis DeBach and Rosen. Host: Parlatoria blanchardi.
Abd-Rabou, S. 2004. Revision of the genus Aphytis (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) with descriptions of two new species from Egypt. Insect Science 11: 149-64._
Abd-Rabou, S. and M. Hayat 2003. A synopsis and key to the Egyptian species of Aphytis Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)
parasitoids of diaspidid scale insects (Homoptera: Diaspididae). Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 48: 357-363.
Basheer, A., Asslan, L., Abd Al-razzaq, F., Saleh, A. Alshadidi, B. and Mohammad, E. 2012. Parasitoids belonging to the genus Aphytis Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) in Citrus orchards in Lattakia, Syria. EPPO Bulletin 42: 580–584.
Havron, A., Rosen, D. and Rubin, A. 1995. Release of pesticide-resistant Aphytis strains in Israeli citrus orchards. Israel Journal of Entomology 29: 309-313.
Japoshvilli, G. and Karaca, Ü. 2002. Coccid (Homoptera: Coccoidea) species of Isparta Province, and their parasitoids from Turkey and Georgia. Turkish Journal of Zoology 26: 371-376.
Rosen, D. and DeBach, P. 1979. Species of Aphytis of the World : Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae. Israel Universities Press, Jerusalem.