The biology of a facultative hyperparasitoid, Tetrastichus Howardi Olliff (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), and its potential as a biocontrol agent of lepidopterous stem borers

Moore, Sean Douglas (1993) The biology of a facultative hyperparasitoid, Tetrastichus Howardi Olliff (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), and its potential as a biocontrol agent of lepidopterous stem borers. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

The gregarious pupal endoparasitoid, Tetrastichus howardi Olliff (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), was introduced into South Africa as a biocontrol agent against the maize and the sorghum stem borers, Busseola fusca Fuller and Chilo partellus Swinhoe. Preovipositional behaviour, ovipositional behaviour, development, fertility, sex-ratio, and longevity were studied in the laboratory. A complex courtship behaviour was observed, however 35.3% of females were mated before emergence from the host pupa. Preoviposition period ranged from 100 mins up to 5 days. Host searching time in Petri dishes was shorter for lepidopteran pupae than for their parasitoid pupae, and shortest when T. howardi had previously experienced the host. Duration of oviposition was significantly longer in the lepidopteran pupae than in the smaller tachinid puparia. T. howardi showed no difference in preference for hosts of different ages. The lepidopteran hosts were preferred to their parasitoids. If T. howardi had previously experienced a certain host its pereference for that host tended to increase, but not significantly. When reared on a certain host, the preference for that host did increase. The parasitoid was able to discriminate between parasitzed and unparasitzed pupae although this ability developed only 2 days after the pupa was parasitized. Cotesia sesamiae Cameron, the main indigenous parasitoid of B. fusca and C. partellus, was not attacked by T howardi. The total duration of development from egg deposition to the adult stage ranged from 18 to 26 days at 24°C and 60% RH. Emergence of adults began after first light, mean emergence time in winter being 09hOO. Emergence rate of T. howardi from parasitized hosts, and mortality rate of parasitized hosts, was higher for C. partellus and H. armigera than for Eldana saccharina Walker and Palexorista laxa Curran. This decreased for C. partell us and H. armigera when superparasitized. A strong correlation existed between total parasitoids emerging from a host and percentage of females. When a lepidopteran pupa was parasitized by a single T. howardi female, 55 progeny emerged of which 94% were females. Larger females showed greater fertility and also produced a higher percentage of females. Younger hosts were more suitable for development of T. howardi. Females lived for 5.4 to 52.5 days, and males lived for 3.1 to 28.6 days, depending on presence or absence of food, water and hosts. Reasons for releasing T. howardi in the field are discussed. Only 2 recoveries of parasitized C. partellus pupae were made from the field.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pupal endoparasitoid, Tetrastichus howardi Olliff, Hymenoptera, Eulophidae, South Africa, Biocontrol, Agent, Borers, Maize stem, Sorghum stem, Busseola fusca Fuller, Chilo partellus Swinhoe, Preovipositional behaviour, Ovipositional behaviour, Development, Fertility, Sex, Ratio, Longevity, Laboratory, Parasitoids
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
Supervisors:Hepburn, Randall and Kfir, Rami
ID Code:4120
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:23 Nov 2012 09:49
Last Modified:23 Nov 2012 09:49
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