Biology and natural enemies of the pepper weevil
The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii is currently the most important pest of pepper crops in North America where it poses a high risk to the cultivation of peppers. To address the current need for new management tools for the pepper weevil, we have initiated a research project which aims to identify the natural enemies associated with the immature life stages of the pest in Canada. From work conducted in 2016, parasitoids belonging to three hymenopteran families including Pteromalidae (Jaliscoa hunteri Crawford, Pteromalus anthonomi Ashmead), Eupelmidae (Eupelmus pulchriceps Cameron) and Braconidae (Nealiolus spp., Bracon spp.) were reared out from field-collected peppers, some of whom represent new records of species able to target the pepper weevil. Together with other ongoing research initiatives, these new natural enemy records may provide opportunities for the development of novel tools for the management of the pepper weevil in North America.