Encarsia is a large genus of minute parasitic wasps of the family Aphelinidae. The genus is very diverse with currently about 400 described species and worldwide distribution. The number of existing species is expected to be several times higher because many species are still undescribed. The adult wasps, tiny insects with 1-2 mm in size, are primarily parasitoids of sessile stages of Sternorrhyncha, in particular whiteflies (Aleyrodidae) and scale insects (Diaspididae). A few species are known to parasitize aphids, eggs of shield-back bugs (Plataspidae), and eggs of Lepidoptera. Females are mostly developing as primary endoparasitoids whereas males are commonly hyperparasitoids of the same or other species.
Species of Encarsia are of particular interest because of their economic importance for biological pest control, especially in horticulture and for crops grown under glass. Many seem to be extremely host-specific which is an important trait for an acceptable and effective bio-control agent.
Species used in biological control
- Encarsia berlesei Howard: White peach scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona)
- Encarsia bimaculata Heraty & Polaszek: Sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci )
- Encarsia clypealis (Silvestri): Citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi)
- Encarsia formosa Gahan: Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum)
- Encarsia herndoni (Girault): Long mussel scale (Lepidosaphes gloverii)
- Encarsia inaron (Walker): Cabbage Whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella) and ash whitefly (Siphoninus phillyreae)
- Encarsia lahorensis (Howard): Citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri)
- Encarsia pergandiella Howard: Sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci )
- Encarsia perniciosi (Tower): San Jose scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus) 
- Encarsia perplexa Huang & Polaszek: Citrus blackfly Aleurocanthus woglumi
- Encarsia sophia (Girault & Dodd): Papaya whitefly (Trialeurodes variabilis) and sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci )
- Encarsia tricolor Förster: Cabbage Whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella)
- ^ Noyes JS. 2003. Universal Chalcidoidea database
- ^ a b Heraty, J.M., Polaszek, A. & Schauff, M.E. (2008) Systematics and Biology of Encarsia. Chapter 4, pp. 71-87 in: Gould, J., Hoelmer, K. & Goolsby, J. (Eds), In: Classical Biological Control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States. A review of interagency research and implementation. Progress in Biological Control 4. . Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 1-343.
- ^ Williams, T. and Polaszek, A. (1996) A re-examination of host relations in the Aphelinidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 57: 35-45. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1996.tb01694.x
- ^ Hunter, M.S. and J.B. Woolley (2001) Evolution and behavioral ecology of heteronomous aphelinid parasitoids. Annual Review of Entomology 46: 251-290.
- ^ a b c d EPPO
- ^ Heraty, J.M., Polaszek, A. & Schauff, M.E. (2008) Systematics and Biology of Encarsia. Chapter 4, pp. 71-87 in: Gould, J., Hoelmer, K. & Goolsby, J. (Eds), In: Classical Biological Control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States. A review of interagency research and implementation. Progress in Biological Control 4. . Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 1-343.
- ^ Singh, S.P. (2004) Some success stories in classical biological control of pests in India. Asa-Pacifi Association of Agricultural Research Institutions, Publication 2004/2.
- ^  MS Hoddle et al. (1998) Annual Review of Entomology Vol. 43: 645-669.
- ^ a b [http://www.trevorwilliams.info/williams_BST_1996.pdf Invasion and Displacement of Experimental Populations of a Conventional Parasitoid by a Heteronomous Hyperparasitoid]
- ^ CISR
- ^ Myrmecos.net
- ^ Nguyen Ru, Brazzel JR, Poucher C. 1983. Population density of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), and its parasites in urban Florida in 1979-1981. Environmental Entomology 12: 878-884.
- ^ University of Florida
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