Habrobracon hebetor (parasitoid)
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Habrobracon hebetor (parasitoid) (Say, 1836)
The parasitoid is a widespread, gregarious ectoparasitoid of pyralids and other Lepidoptera in warmer regions. Its is commercially produced, e.g. against stored-product pests like Plodia interpunctella.
The female first stings and paralyzes the host larva and then lays a number of eggs near the paralyzed host. The paralyzed larva is used as food by both the female and the hatching wasp larvae. The life cycle from egg to mature adult lasts about 2 weeks. More than 10 generations per year may develop under suitable conditions.
During its life time, the female paralyzes many more hosts than actually used for oviposition. The paralyzed host larvae always die even without oviposition, but might still live for up to a month.
The adult wasps are about 4 mm long, with a variable coloration: yellowish-brown with black marks until completely black.