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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

Print version ISSN 0373-5680

Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. vol.73 no.3-4 La Plata Dec. 2014



First record of Chrysoperla asoralis and C. argentina (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) in horticultural felds of La Plata associated with the sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)

Primer registro de Chrysoperla asoralis y C. argentina (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) en cultivos hortícolas de La Plata asociado a pimiento (Capsicum annuum L.)


Haramboure, Marina1, Carmen Reguilón2, Raúl A. Alzogaray3, 4 & Marcela Inés Schneider1, 5

1 Laboratorio de Ecotoxicología: Plaguicidas y Control Biológico. Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores [CEPAVE (CONICET LA PLATA-UNLP)], Bv. 120 s/n e/61 y 62, La Plata CP 1900, Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:
2 Instituto de Entomología, Fundación Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, Argentina.
3 Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas (CIPEIN-UNIDEF/CONICET), Villa Martelli, Bs. As., Argentina.
Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental (3IA - UNSAM).
5 Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. Universidad Nacional de la Plata, La Plata, Bs. As., Argentina.

Recibido: 29-VIII-2014;
Aceptado: 16-X-2014


ABSTRACT. Chrisopids are economically significant predators of several agricultural pests. In Argentina, the species recorded of Chrysoperla Steinmann, 1964 are C. externa (Hagen, 1861), C. asoralis (Banks, 1915), C. argentina (González Olazo & Reguilón, 2002) and C. defreitasi (Brooks, 1994). Chrysoperla asoralis and C. argentina have been associated with citric, olive, maize and cotton crops. In the present note, we record for the first time these two species in La Plata and neighboring areas within the Buenos Aires province, in association with the sweet pepper, Capsicum annuum L.

KEY WORDS: Chrysoperla asoralis; Chrysoperla argentina; Chrysoperla externa; Sweet pepper.

RESUMEN. Los crisópidos son depredadores, económicamente importantes, de varias plagas de la agricultura. En Argentina, las especies registradas dentro del género Chrysoperla Steinmann, 1964 son C. externa (Hagen, 1861), C. asoralis (Banks, 1915), C. argentina (González Olazo & Reguilón, 2002) y C. defreitasi (Brooks, 1994). Chrysoperla argentina y C. asoralis han sido citadas asociadas con cultivos de cítricos, olivos, maíz y algodón. En la presente nota registramos, por primera vez, estas dos especies en la zona del Gran La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires, en asociación con el pimiento, Capsicum annuum L.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Chrysoperla asoralis; Chrysoperla argentina; Chrysoperla externa; Sweet pepper.


The green lacewings, considered to be highly efficient predators, are used for the biological control of various pests, such as aphids, coccids, thrips, and lepidopteran larvae (Lingren et al., 1968; Canard et al., 1984; Greeve, 1984; Thompson, 1992; Bento et al., 1997; Urbaneja et al., 1999). In Argentina, the following four species of Chrysoperla Steimann, 1964 have been recorded: C. externa (Hagen, 1861), C. asoralis (Banks, 1915), C. argentina (González Olazo & Reguilón, 2002) and C. defreitasi (Brooks, 1994) (Montserrat & de Freitas, 2005). The first species shows a broad distribution in the Neotropical region and in Argentina it is found from the northernmost provinces down to the north of Patagonia (Adams & Penny, 1987); the second is like-wise present from northern Argentina, to northern Patagonia (González Olazo & Heredia, 2007; González et al., 2011); C. argentina, however, has thus far been found only in the provinces of Salta, Chaco, La Rioja and Tucumán (González Olazo & Reguilón, 2002; Reguilón et al., 2006); while C. defreitasi has been recorded exclusively in the forests of the yungas ecologic region in eastern Argentina (González et al., 2011) and in northern Patagonia (Montserrat & de Freitas, 2005). The species most thoroughly investigated is C. externa, with ecotoxicological studies recently having been reported (Iannacone & Lamas, 2002; Silva et al., 2006; Rimoldi et al., 2008, 2012; Schneider et al., 2009; Moura et al., 2012; Haramboure et al., 2013). The massive rearing and subsequent release in the field of that species has been promoted in several countries during recent years (Vargas, 1988; Daane & yokota, 1997; Carvalho et al., 2002; Pappas et al., 2011).

The horticultural zone of La Plata is one of the most extensive in the Buenos Aires province, occupying 65% of the greenhouse-cultivated area of the province (Censo Hortiflorícola, 2005). The sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is one of the main crops in this region, but is attacked in both the fruit and the plant proper by several pests, such as the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Barbosa et al., 2008) and the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Genadius). Both these pests are of economic significance because of their direct effect on the plant itself through the sucking of the phloem and their secondary role as vectors of viral phytopathogens. In the horticultural agroeco-systems of La Plata, the presence of C. externa has been detected in both organic and conventional fields, and in association with these two pests (Schneider, unpublished data).

Samplings made in sweet pepper greenhouses in the area of La Plata, Buenos Aires province (34° 90' 65.67" S, 58° 14' 25.71" W) resulted in the capture of numerous specimens of the genus Chrysoperla. The species determination was done in the Miguel Lillo Foundation through the use of taxonomic keys. The material analyzed corresponded to C. asoralis and C. argentina, thus representing the first record for both species in the Buenos Aires province (Fig. 1) in addition to the association of those species with sweet pepper.

Fig. 1. Distribution map of Chrysoperla asoralis (gray) and C. argentina (light blue) in Argentina. * Cardinal points were found in:

The aim of this report is to provide a formal record of the presence of these two species in that region, gather information on their distribution, and report a new association with the sweet pepper per se. Furthermore, we have also included here the most relevant taxonomic characters of the larvae and adults of these species (Figs. 2-4 and 5-7).

Figs. 2-4. Third instar larvae of 2) Chrysoperla asoralis with large rounded cephalic dorsolateral marks connected with the medium mark; 3) C. argentina with two narrow cephalic dorsolateral marks; 4) C. externa with a bifurcated anterodorsal medium mark and irregular dorsolateral marks.

Figs. 5-7. Adults with head detail of 5) Chrysoperla asoralis, red postocular spot, pronotum without lateral bands; 6) C. argentina, dark brown genae; 7) C. externa, pronotum with red lateral bands, red genae.

According to González Olazo et al. (2011), C. asoralis could be displacing C. externa on the basis of the high number of individuals found in several locations. Although more studies in the field have to be carried out in order to corroborate the hypothesis, an initial sampling done during a two-year period indicated that C. asoralis was more abundant than C. externa. For this reason, ecotoxicological studies are presently being carried out with an emphasis on a comparison of the susceptibility to insecticides between C. externa and C. asoralis (Haramboure et al. unpublished data). The association of C. asoralis with sweet-pepper pests would point to that species as being a potential biologic control agent, with the possibility of ultimately being able to include this species in integrated-pest-management programs. These studies could also be useful in acquiring more information on the taxonomy of the Chrysoperla species before their mass rearing for field releases.


R.A.A. and M.I.S. are members of the Carrera del Investigador Científico y Tecnológico of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas from Argentina (CONICET). M.H. is a fellowship holder of CONICET. The financial support for this research was provided by the National Agency of Promotion of Science and Technology (ANPCyT-FONCyT, PICT 2011-1752). C.R. thanks Entomology Institute of Miguel Lillo Foundation, Tucumán. We are grateful to Jorge Barneche for his assistance to improve the figures. Dr. Donald F. Haggerty, a retired career investigator and native English speaker, edited the final version of the manuscript.


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